Heterogeneity in the Sexual Orientations of Men Who Have Sex with Fa’afafine in Samoa

Lanna J. Petterson, Barnaby J. Dixson, Anthony C. Little, Paul L. Vasey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In Samoa, feminine natal males who possess male-typical genitalia are known locally as fa’afafine. Some Samoan men express sexual interest in fa’afafine, whereas others do not. To assess the sexual orientation of men who are sexually interested in fa’afafine, we collected sexual attraction ratings and viewing times of Samoan men’s and women’s faces. Study 1 (N = 130) focused on men who were insertive or versatile during anal sex with fa’afafine partners. These men were compared to each other, as well as to males (i.e., men and fa’afafine) who were exclusively sexually interested in either women or men. Study 2 (N = 180) compared men who had sex with fa’afafine and women; men who had sex with fa’afafine, women, and men; and men who had sex with fa’afafine and men. These men were compared to each other, as well as to males who were exclusively sexually interested in either women or men. These studies suggest that men who have sex with fa’afafine are a heterogeneous group. A small portion of the men who are sexually interested in fa’afafine shows a relatively bisexual pattern of sexual attraction ratings and viewing times, namely men who have sex with fa’afafine, men, and women. In contrast, a larger number of men who were sexually interested in fa’afafine responded in a manner similar to men who were exclusively sexually interested in either women or men. The present research suggests that additional insights into male sexual orientation can be garnered by focusing on how sexuality is expressed in non-Western cultural contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-529
Number of pages13
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Volume49
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020

Keywords

  • Anal sex
  • Bisexuality
  • Fa’afafine
  • Gynandromorphophilia
  • Sexual orientation
  • Viewing time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)

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