from Clinical/Therapeutic Issues
The article notes that Rieger and a team of associates interviewed 101 young adult men who described themselves as bisexual, straight, or homosexual.
The researchers asked the men about their sexual desires and rated them on a scale from 0-6 on sexual orientation. 0-1 indicated heterosexuality; 5-6 indicated homosexuality. Bisexuality was measured by scores in the mid-range.
Researchers also used sensors to monitor the sexual arousal of men who viewed images of men and women.
According to Rieger, "Regardless of whether the men were gay, straight or bisexual, they showed about four times more arousal" to one sex or the other. A third of the men in each group showed no significant arousal watching the movies but their lack of response did not change the overall findings, said Rieger.
Rieger believes this research lends credence to the view that men and women are either gay or straight--not bisexual. Rieger's web site describes his areas of interest. His objective appears to be to prove that there is a genetic basis for homosexuality.
The Times quoted Dr. J. Michael Bailey, a gay-affirming professor of psychology at Northwestern and the study's senior author. (Rieger, whose sexual orientation was not mentioned in the article is gay and studies under Bailey.) According to Bailey, "I'm not denying that bisexual behavior exists. But I am saying that in men there's no hint that true bisexual arousal exists, and that for men arousal is orientation."
Dr. Bailey has been under attack for his authorship of The Man Who Would Be Queen, reviewed by NARTH Scientific Advisory Committee Chairman A. Dean Byrd, Ph.D. Transgender Roadmap has published a series of emails and discussions about Bailey and Rieger's research on sexual orientation.
The Times also quoted Dr. Lisa Diamond, an associate professor of psychology and gender identity at the University of Utah. According to Diamond, "Research on sexual orientation has been based almost entirely on self-reports, and this is one of the few good studies using physiological measures." The Times failed to note that Dr. Diamond is a member of the American Psychological Association's Division 44, The Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Issues.
In 2004, Dr. Diamond told a group of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) that she believes that sexuality is fluid and subject to change, but she does not agree that reparative therapy is useful in helping individuals change their sexual attractions.