A new study shows that women who are hotter and have higher levels of education are less likely to identify as gay, Eurek Alert reports.
Elizabeth Aura McClintock, study author and assistant professor of sociology at the University of Notre Dame, used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) that looked at four waves, from 1994 to 1995, 2001 to 2002, and 2007 to 2008, and she also followed 5,018 women and 4,191 men from adolescence to adulthood. McClintock then asked each wave if they'd ever had any kind of same-sex attraction or had sex with someone of the same gender.
What she found was that women who'd had more levels of education, had not become young mothers, and were more physically attractive (according to the people rating their hotness at Add Health) were more likely to claim they were "100 percent heterosexual" than other respondents.
McClintock suggested that women who fit that description were more likely to have access to better heterosexual partners, thereby offering them little opportunity or need to explore with same-sex partners.
She found that if women have had a lot of success with dating men, they might not have any reason to go dating women, but if they'd had less desirable male partners, they might be more interested in exploring dating people of their own gender. She also noticed that women who acted on same-sex dating were more likely to veer from identifying as 100 percent heterosexual, which makes sense, obviously.
McClintock is careful to avoid the possibility of people misreading her conclusions as stating that LGBT women only resort to finding same-sex partners when they can't find a good man to be with," by telling Live Science, "I do not claim that women become lesbians because they are not attractive enough to get men. One could just as easily imply that some women never have the opportunity to partner with women because they are caught up in the pressure of hetero-normativity."
While it would be easy to jump to those conclusions, McClintock makes a good point in her response, since it's entirely likely that women who are considered to be more conventionally attractive, well-educated, and who have also been fortunate enough to have only dated great men are probably given less opportunities to stray from heteronormativity, since conforming to that world is, sadly, still a pretty great gig.
â€‹Correction: A previous version of this article said the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health examined data from 1994 to 1995, 2001 to 2001, and 2007 to 2008â€‹. The study examined data from 1994 to 1995, 2001 to 2002, and 2007 to 2008.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.