The latest findings from Boise State University discovered that:
- over half of the 484 straight women questioned had been attracted to another female at some point in their lives
- a further 45 per cent admitted to kissing a woman
- 50 per cent confessed to enjoying fantasies about other ladies.
“Women are encouraged to be emotionally close to each other. That provides an opportunity for intimacy and romantic feelings to develop,” says Prof. Elizabeth Morgan from the study. A previous study found that the chances of a woman being attracted to other women increases as she get older. More
"I kissed a girl, and I liked it, taste of her cherry Chapstick," Katy Perry likes to brag. And as a society we love it. And as parents we worry. And as college girls we think we're the only ones. Is bisexuality or lesbianism "sexual misconduct," breaking the third of the Five Precepts?
This is a difficult question. When asked and pressed one very prominent Buddhist scholar-monk told us yes. He may have worried about why we were asking. The question was specifically about women engaging in sex with other women. But since a man was doing the asking -- and since by monastic disciplinary (Vinaya) rules penetration is what counts as intercourse and "defeat" (parajika) -- the venerable elder may have worried more about the questioner than the question.
Obviously homosexuality, bisexuality, experimentation, and child molestation (bacha bazi, pederasty, pedophilia) are rampant throughout the world. But almost nowhere are they spoken of freely. The taboo against molestation and incest is not in committing it but in talking about it, particularly by victims. Molestation leads to unwanted sexual feelings.
If there were no homosexual molestation, it is very likely there would still be a significant percentage of homosexuals in the world's population. However, it would not likely carry the stigma it now does due to its being confounded with the very disturbing issue of child molestation.
Sex with children and children having sex with one another is sexual misconduct (kamesu micchacara). The sexist definition of the term is recounted by monks (in the absence of a nun's tradition in the oldest Buddhist monastic disciplinary code, which is only now being revived after a long absence). The term is detailed for monastics since it involves any sexual or erotic behavior. But for lay Buddhists it is limited and somewhat unclear.
Found in the Numerical Discourses, Book of Tens, Discourse 206 (AN X.206), "sexual misconduct" is defined as sex (presumably intercourse) with a female who is protected by (dependent on) any of ten types of guardians. Surely the same applies for females, who in many traditional societies are spoken of as if they had no sexual agency and were merely receptive.
- "Abandoning sexual misconduct, one abstains from sexual misconduct; he does not have intercourse with women who are protected by their (1) mother, (2) father, (3) mother and (4) father, (5) brother, (6) sister, or (7) relatives, who have a (8) husband, who are protected by (9) law, or with those already (10) engaged."
(See Bhikkhu Bodhi translation, In the Buddha's Words, p. 159, based on MN41; Saleyyaka Sutra; I 286-90).