A new study reports that, like their heterosexual counterparts, gay men are attracted to cues of fertility.
PsyPost reports: “In the study, 64 homosexual and 60 heterosexual male participants were asked to view a purported profile of a woman from a fertility clinic and rate a variety of her characteristics, including physical attractiveness. The profile included information about her level of fertility along with information such as age, blood type, personality and a black and white photo. All the participants rated the same woman. But the profile varied in the level of fertility displayed. Heterosexual participants rated the woman as more attractive compared to homosexual participants overall. But the researchers found that both homosexual and heterosexual participants rated the woman as more physically attractive when the profile claimed she had a high level of fertility.”
PsyPost reports that the same study was repeated with photos of men shown to 124 homosexual and 100 heterosexual male participants.
“They found that homosexual men, but not heterosexual men, rated a man to be less attractive when his profile claimed he had a low level of fertility, compared to when information was provided that pointed to his high fertility or when no information was given,” PsyPost adds.
Wrote the study’s author Robin Rinn: “According to the sexual strategy theory (SST), men pursue short-term mating strategies to enhance their reproductive fitness. To do so, heterosexual men search for women who signal high reproductive value through multiple fertility cues. We hypothesize that, due to an interplay of mating strategies derived from a person’s biological sex and the sexual orientation of a person (which develops independently of biological sex), not only heterosexual but also homosexual men should find high fertility more attractive in others. Accordingly, in Study 1 (N = 124), we found that hetero- as well as homosexual men rated the physical attractiveness of a female stimulus person to be greater when she was portrayed to be of high (versus low) fertility. Interestingly, in Study 2 (N = 224), we found that only homosexual-, but not heterosexual men perceived a male stimulus to be less attractive when information was provided that pointed at his low (versus high) fertility and when no information was given. We discuss these findings against the background of evolved adaptive mating motives in humans. Overall, the present results indicate that fertility appears to be an important cue for perceived physical attractiveness for both hetero- and homosexual men.”
Said Rinn to PsyPost: “Homosexual people are not much different from heterosexual people [when it comes to fertility cues]. In fact, when we look into the research about that topic, it can be assumed that there are greater differences between men and women than there are between hetero- and homosexual people. Personally, I hope that our research can help to reduce stereotypical views of homosexual people in showing that there are more similarities with heterosexuals than there are differences.”