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Straight people think bisexuals are ‘confused and promiscuous’

Written by gaytourism

Bisexuals at Pride in London. | Photo: Bis of Colour

Alon Zivony faced a lot of biphobia in life and decided to find out what straight people don’t understand about bisexuals.

He discovered that straight people think bisexuals are confused and promiscuous.

Bisexual women are perceived as ‘unstable and undependable’, according to Zivony’s research.

‘After finding out that I’m bi, people automatically doubt my commitment to my partner. It made me wonder where they were getting this idea,’ Zivony told Gay Star News.

‘It seemed to me that the culprit was the (incorrect) belief that men and women are “opposites”, which leads people to deduce that bisexuality naturally results in conflict between “opposing” attractions.’

Zivony from Tel Aviv University hopes his research will not only uncover the reasons behind the stereotypes but help to find ways to overcome them.

Stereotypes about bisexual women

His latest research for the The Journal of Sex Research found that straight people have a lot of misconceptions about bisexual women.

Zivony believed the negative perceptions about bi women comes from society’s vilification of women’s sexuality. Men are applauded for their sexual ‘conquests’, but sexual women are ‘often ridiculed and objectified’.

‘We were dismayed to find that bisexual women were also stereotyped as being emotionally unstable and undependable,’ he said.

‘This attitude can be especially harmful to bisexual women, who are seen as hyper-sexual, and might be part of the reason why bisexual women are more likely to be the victims of sexual harassment and assault.’

Sometimes bisexuals are ‘confused and sexual’. But those characteristics do not make bi people and their sexuality any less valid.

Fighting stereotypes about bisexuals is important because ‘they limit our interactions and can be destructive for our relationships’.

‘They take away our freedom to be who we are. To dismantle these stereotypes is to dismantle part of the oppression that bisexuals face on a daily basis.’

It’s not all bad news

Zivony said it’s not all doom and gloom for the world’s bisexual population. There is hope that education will help undo the negative stereotypes about bisexual people.

‘There’s one aspect of this study that makes me optimistic. If bisexual stereotypes are rooted in ignorance and misconceptions, then education should help negate these stereotypes,’ he said.

‘The more we expose people to bisexuality, the less likely they are to think it defines a person’s personality.

‘Also, once a person understands that gender is not a binary dichotomy, they will have no reason to assume that bisexual people are naturally conflicted.’

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