What Does It Mean To Be Bisexual?

Introduction

Hey Psych2goers! Throughout your lifetime, have you ever wondered the meaning behind bisexuality? What does it imply? In this article, we will explore more information about bisexuality. As a disclaimer, the points that are made here are based on references. Descriptions and experiences can vary from person to person.

1. Being flexible

Bisexuality means being attracted to more than just one sex or gender (American Psychological Association, 2017). However, in a lot of cases, bisexuality can be explained in many types. Depending on the context, some may include pansexual, fluid or omnisexual as equivalent as bisexuality as well. The symbol “bi+” provides a wider inclusion for these groups of people (Human Rights Campaign, n.d.).

2. Coming out is challenging

In a study that is done in 2013, it collected the voices of 1,197 participants who came from different sexual orientations, such as lesbian, gay and bisexual. The goal of the study is to see whether they struggled in the process of coming out. In the aspect of telling friends and family members, 24% bisexual respondents reported they have never told anyone, whereas 4%-6% lesbian and gay respondents reported they have not shared the truth. Based on their opinions, most of the bisexuals do not think it is necessary to tell them and they are worried about discussing topics that their parents may not accept. Therefore, they avoided coming out if the context is not available (Pew Research Center, 2013).

3. Being seen as untrustworthy

As mentioned above, bisexuality consists of being interested in more than one sex or gender, some people may assume they are not a reliable partner when it comes to relationships. There tends to be a biphobic trend among those assumptions. For instance, they would assume bisexual people are more likely to cheat, to be selfish and getting identity confusion. Due to these stigmas, bisexual people are more likely to suffer from loneliness and isolation (DiDonato, 2019).

4. Prone to poor health outcomes

In addition to the previous point, bisexual people have a high probability of feeling discouraged and depressed, which hugely impact their mental health. However, some of them are worried about being judged by their healthcare providers and decided to refuse to seek help, which made the outcome even worse over time (Human Rights Campaign, n.d.).

5. It is not short-term

One study observed a group of females for 10 years to see if their sexual orientation changed over time. In the beginning of the study, the total of 79 participants view themselves as unlabelled, bisexual or lesbian. Throughout the years, there had been many self-reported changes to their orientation, but most of them still remain their bisexual identity while just a few of them see themselves as lesbians and heterosexual (Diamond, 2008).

6. There is no confusion

There are still some misconceptions in the society. Other than being viewed as being confused by some heterosexuals, some lesbians and gays admitted bisexual do not actually exist and they would not accept this in-between type (Welzer-Lang, 2008). However, bisexuals actually know their preferences well.

Conclusion

Do you fine any of these points helpful? Have you learned something new? Please leave a comment below if you’d like to share your thoughts!

References

American Psychological Association. (2017, November). Understanding Bisexuality. Retrieved December 28, 2020, from https://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/bisexual

Diamond L. M. (2008). Female bisexuality from adolescence to adulthood: results from a 10-year longitudinal study. Developmental psychology, 44(1), 5–14. https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.44.1.5

DiDonato, T. (2019, October 11). Psychology Today. Why Bisexual People Face Unique Dating Challenges. Retrieved December 28, 2020, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/meet-catch-and-keep/201910/why-bisexual-people-face-unique-dating-challenges

Human Rights Campaign. (n.d.). Health Disparities Among Bisexual People. HRC. https://www.hrc.org/resources/health-disparities-among-bisexual-people

Human Rights Campaign. (n.d.). A resource guide to coming out as bisexuals. https://caps.ucsc.edu/resources/coming-out-guide-bisexual.pdf

Pew Research Center. (2019, December 31). Chapter 3: The Coming Out Experience. Retrieved December 28, 2020, from https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/06/13/chapter-3-the-coming-out-experience/

Welzer-Lang, D. (2008). Speaking out loud about bisexuality: Biphobia in the gay and lesbian community. Journal of Bisexuality, 8(1-2), 81-95.

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