According to a new bummer of a study, 15 percent of people don’t believe bisexuality is a “real” orientation. In other words, they think people who identify as bisexual are lying.
The study, presented earlier this month at a meeting of the American Public Health Association, also found that the overall opinion of bisexuality is negative among both gay and straight people. Men who identified as straight were three times more likely to consider bisexuality “not a legitimate sexual orientation,” perhaps assuming that bisexuals are actually gay or just faking it. Male bisexuals were also found to be more stigmatized than female bisexuals, and women and people who identified as members of the LGBT community were less likely to have negative opinions of bisexuality.
The report suggested negative views of bisexuality might have a negative impact on the mental and physical health of people who are bisexual. You think?
According to Mackey Friedman, a researcher at the University of Pittsburgh who worked on the study:
“Bisexual men and women face prejudice, stigma and discrimination from both heterosexual and homosexual people….this can cause feelings of isolation and marginalization, which prior research has shown leads to higher substance use, depression and risky sexual behavior … It also can result in lower rates of HIV testing and treatment.”
Sexuality is not rigid. All of us are on a continuum. It’s unfortunate that we’re still at a point where many of us are making our peers feel invalidated.
[Image of a confused woman via Shutterstock]