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Sexual Fluidity

Sexual Fluidity

Understanding Women’s Love and Desire

Lisa M. Diamond

ISBN 9780674033696

Publication date: 07/01/2009

Lisa M. Diamond

Is love “blind” when it comes to gender? For women, it just might be. This unsettling and original book offers a radical new understanding of the context-dependent nature of female sexuality. argues that for some women, love and desire are not rigidly heterosexual or homosexual but fluid, changing as women move through the stages of life, various social groups, and, most important, different love relationships.
This perspective clashes with traditional views of sexual orientation as a stable and fixed trait. But that view is based on research conducted almost entirely on men. Diamond is the first to study a large group of women over time. She has tracked one hundred women for more than ten years as they have emerged from adolescence into adulthood. She summarizes their experiences and reviews research ranging from the psychology of love to the biology of sex differences. Sexual Fluidity offers moving first-person accounts of women falling in and out of love with men or women at different times in their lives. For some, gender becomes irrelevant: “I fall in love with the person, not the gender,” say some respondents.
Sexual Fluidity offers a new understanding of women’s sexuality—and of the central importance of love.


  • Sexual Fluidity is the most important book on sexuality in many years. The scholarship is impeccable and the writing lucid. Exploring issues that have political, scientific, and personal ramifications, Diamond answers the tough questions: Do women have a sexual orientation? Do women choose their sexuality? Can a heterosexual woman fall in love with a woman? Can a lesbian fall in love with a man? Are women really sexually changeable? Are men? Diamond challenges both traditionalists and radicals—if you want to understand female sexuality, listen to what women say.

    —Ritch C. Savin-Williams, author of The New Gay Teenager


  • 2009, Winner of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues Distinguished Book Award


  • Lisa M. Diamond is Associate Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies at the University of Utah.

Book Details

  • Harvard University Press