Recent studies investigating the relationship between self-reported sexual desire and attraction to same- and opposite-sex individuals have found that homosexual men's sexual desire is positively correlated with their self-reported attraction to own-sex individuals only, while homosexual women’s sexual desire is positively correlated with their self-reported attraction to both men and women. These data have been interpreted as evidence that sexual desire strengthens men's pre-existing (i.e., dominant) sexual behaviors and strengthens women’s sexual behaviors in general. Here we show that homosexual men's (n = 106) scores on the Sexual Desire Inventory-2 (SDI-2) were positively correlated with their preferences for exaggerated sex-typical shape cues in own-sex, but not opposite-sex, faces. Contrary to the hypothesis that sexual desire strengthens women’s preferences for sexual dimorphism generally, homosexual women's (n = 83) SDI-2 scores were positively correlated with their preferences for exaggerated sex-typical shape cues in opposite-sex faces only. Together with previous research in heterosexual subjects, our findings support the proposal that sexual desire increases the incidence of existing sexual behaviors in homosexual and heterosexual men, and increases the incidence of sexual responses more generally in heterosexual women, although not necessarily in homosexual women.
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