Stereotypes make bisexuals keep orientation under wraps
Stereotypes Make Bisexuals Keep Orientation Under Wraps. A new study has shed light on how bisexual people have to go through different set of negotiations when they reveal about their sexuality to family or friends.
Washington: A new study has shed light on how bisexual people have to go through different set of negotiations when they reveal about their sexuality to family or friends.
According to a new study co-authored by UNL sociologist Emily Kazyak, such reactions are common and cultural perceptions and stereotypes have more impact on bisexuals' coming-out experiences than those of gays and lesbians.
Kazyak said that stereotypes of bisexuality are pervasive and often negative or over-sexualized, and most research ignores bisexual identity or lumps it together with gay and lesbian sexual identity.
Kazyak said that they knew that there were certain stereotypes about bisexual identity that were different from gay and lesbian sexuality and their hunch was that bisexual people really have a distinct experience in coming out to family members, given those stereotypes attached to bisexual identity.
Researchers interviewed 45 people who identified as bisexual and found that perceptions of how family members viewed bisexuality caused the interviewees to react in one of three ways: to not come out at all; to come out as gay or lesbian; or to come out as bisexual. Perceptions of bisexuality also affected to whom the person decided to come out, and how those family members responded.
Bisexual identity may be more difficult to accept because of monosexism, the belief that people can only be gay or straight.
While Kazyak had hypothesized that the experience of coming out would be different for bisexuals, she was surprised at how much stereotypes and perceptions mattered.
The study was published in March in the Journal of Marriage and Family.