Why Are Women Attracted To The Same Sex: Physical or Emotional?

For many straight women, the idea of being attracted to the same sex may seem strange and foreign. If you are like me then you have probably wondered what is the reasoning behind it. Is it about physical attraction or is it about emotional support that only someone who thinks like you can understand? Is it natural or is it a result of environment?

First lets look at the physical attraction and the science behind it. The Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden found that pheromone-like stimuli in each individuals brain produce different responses in the brain of women of different sexual orientations. What does all of these mean in lameness terms? That different women are attracted to different things. One woman's brain may release certain hormones when she sees a man while another women's brain will produce these when she sees a women. The only thing that these scientists have been unable to figure out is whether you are born like this or whether this develops as a result of past experiences. Another study found similar results to this one, they said that a lesbian woman's brain reacts similar to the brain of a heterosexual male than a heterosexual female when exposed to a chemical associated with the scent of women. A third study found that it had to do with the pheromones that the female body produces that attract other women to them. Since this is similar to their own scent it feels safe and comfortable. As a result, the female brain is drawn to it and eventually becomes attracted to women. I don't agree with this whole theory because if this was the case then wouldn't every woman be a lesbian? Basically what all of these studies are saying is that women can genuinely be attracted to another women. They have no control over the message that their brain is transmitting to the rest of their body, so why should they have to go against their nature just to make society happy and follow the social norm? In my opinion, I think that you are either born with an attraction to the same sex or you aren't. I don't necessarily believe that negative experiences with a certain sex can rewire your brain, maybe make you more cautious and less trusting but not completely change your chemistry makeup.

Another way to theorize being attracted to the same sex has to do with emotional attraction. Women are fragile and emotional creatures, something that men don't always understand. As a result, being in a relationship with someone who understands you completely and knows how your brain/body work may seem attractive to some women. This in turn may cause them to see the same sex in a new light because who understands a woman better then another woman? I don't necessarily agree with this idea that women are only attracted to other women because of the emotional support that they may provide because women can have platonic female friends that fill this void for them.

However in one of the studies mentioned above they did mention that the smell that females emit are familiar to other females and that can be one of the reasons for this attraction so maybe a combination of physical and emotional attraction is the best explanation as to why women can be attracted to each other.

So after all of my research I can firmly say that I don't think that being gay is a phase or a choice. I think that you are born loving who you love and there should be no need to further look into it. Whether a woman is attracted to another women because of emotional support or because of physical attraction it is their prerogative. If they aren't hurting anyone then why should we hurt them by judging and discriminating against their life choices?

By Kristen Catalano

Reflection Magazine