Exploring Plurisexuality in Heterosexual and Mostly Heterosexual-Identified Women
About the Research Project
Despite plurisexual people making up as much as 35% of the population (Copen et al., 2016; Priebe & Svedin, 2013), plurisexuality has often been ignored in research (see Monro et al. 2017 for review). Research suggests that cisgender women and gender diverse individuals are more likely to be plurisexual than cisgender men (Galupo et al., 2016; Katz-Wise, 2015; Lund et al., 2019).
Interestingly, a large proportion of plurisexual cisgender women do not identify with sexual identity label such as bisexual, pansexual, or queer. In fact, 7.6-15% of cisgender women identify as “mostly straight” when asked to choose from a drop-down menu of sexual identity labels (Savin-Williams & Vrangalova, 2013).
The current project will be examining the lived experience of “mostly straight” women through the analysis of social media posts and interviews. Research will explore how these women define “mostly straight” and why they chose this particular label. More broadly the project will examine the experience of feeling not-quite-straight but not-quite-queer and how individuals make sense of their identity within that context.
About Lauren Matheson
Lauren (she/her) is a PhD student in Clinical Psychology at the University of Victoria. She is passionate about sexuality research, particularly research examining sexual identity and sexual orientation. Currently she is working on two research projects examining plurisexuality (i.e., attraction to more than one gender) and how plurisexual individuals understand their sexual identity.
Lauren identifies as a pansexual cisgender woman. She is of primarily European ancestry and has been a settler on Lekwungen lands since 2017. As a qualitative researcher and as a clinician, Lauren takes a reflexive approach to her work by acknowledging how her many intersecting identities impact her relationship to her research, practice, and clients.
Lauren currently engages in psychotherapy with students at the University of Victoria Student Wellness Centre as part of her clinical training.
Copen, C. E., Chandra, A., & Febo-Vazquez, I. (2016). Sexual behavior, sexual attraction, and sexual orientation among adults aged 18-44 in the United States: Results from the 2011-2013 National Survey of Family Growth. Hyattsville, National Center for Health Statistics.
Galupo, M. P., Henise, S. B., & Mercer, N. L. (2016). “The labels don’t work very well”: Transgender individuals’ conceptualizations of sexual orientation and sexual identity. International Journal of Transgenderism, 17(2), 93-104.
Katz-Wise, S. L. (2015). Sexual fluidity in young adult women and men: Associations with sexual orientation and sexual identity development. Psychology & Sexuality, 6(2), 189-208.
Lund, E. M., Thomas, K. B., Sias, C. M., & Bradley, A. R. (2016). Examining concordant and discordant sexual and romantic attraction in American adults: Implications for counselors. Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling, 10(4), 211-226.
Priebe, G., & Svedin, C. G. (2013). Operationalization of three dimensions of sexual orientation in a national survey of late adolescents. Journal of sex research, 50(8), 727-738.
Savin-Williams, R. C., & Vrangalova, Z. (2013). Mostly heterosexual as a distinct sexual orientation group: A systematic review of the empirical evidence. Developmental Review, 33(1), 58-88.