Empathy Is Related to Sexual Orientation

Men and women attracted to men are more empathetic than men and women attracted to women, according to a new study from the Department of Psychology at the University of Haifa.

“People attracted to a particular gender, whether they are heterosexual or homosexual, have common social tools, and thus exhibit the same level of empathy,” said Professor Simone Shamay-Tsoory of the Department of Psychology at the University of Haifa who conducted the study.

Empathy is a key mechanism for understanding the other, helping us to feel the emotions of someone distinct from ourselves, identify with his or her trials, and be aware of the need to offer assistance.

Sociologists claim that empathy plays an important role in the development of human society in that it contributes to peoples’ understanding of others and causes them to take the latter’s feelings into account…

The study revealed that sexual orientation is related to the level of empathy: based on self-reporting, heterosexual women showed the highest level of empathy, followed by gay men, then lesbian women, and finally heterosexual men.


Image: The Flirtation (1904), by Eugene de Blaas
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_attraction