Bisexual People Still Face Stigma

bisexualMany believe that bisexuality is not a legitimate sexual orientation, fostering an outlook that may lead to negative health outcomes in people who identify as such.[1] According to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, men and women who identify themselves as heterosexual are three times more likely to categorize bisexuality as an illegitimate sexual orientation.1

The results of an online sample of 1, 500 adults at the American Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting & Exposition in Boston proved interesting.1 Bisexual men and women face prejudice, stigma, and discrimination from both heterosexual and homosexual people.1 This causes feelings of isolation and marginalization, leading to higher substance use, depression, and risky sexual behavior.1 It also leads to lower rates of HIV testing and treatment.1 Many reported that words that came to mind in relation to bisexual people were “confused,” “different,” and “experimental.”1

Researchers then developed a 33-question survey and administered it to the online sample.1 Respondents were generally negative in their attitudes, with 15 percent of the sample in disagreement that bisexuality was a legitimate sexual orientation.1 However, women, Caucasian people, and lesbian, gay, or bisexual people had less bias and prejudice against bisexuality.1 Still, those who were lesbian and gay still responded significantly less positive toward bisexuality, indicating that even within the LGBT+ community, bisexuals face a profound stigma.1 Also, male bisexuals were more likely to suffer more stigma than females.1

This stigma holds this community back from talking openly about their sexual orientation with peers, family, and friends.1 They feel the need to be secretive about their orientation, leading to higher rates of depression and other negative health outcomes.1 It is important to note that social marketing interventions and outreach can help reduce the stigma against bisexuality, improve rates of HIV prevention, and increase treatment for mental health disorders within this community.1

[1] Nauert, R. (2013). Bisexual Men and Women Still Face Stigma, Challenges. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 6, 2013, from http://psychcentral.com/news/2013/11/06/bisexual-men-and-women-still-face-stigma-challenges/61670.html

One Comment

  • Zoey

    December 7, 2013, 11:52 am

    Amazing! You know I love your blog!!!

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