Bisexuality Myths

Bisexuality Myths

By Kerry Poynter & Susan Gallagher, University of Illinois Springfield
•    Myth #1: Bisexuality is just a phase. Nobody stays bisexual.

Reality: 92% of people who identified as bisexual still do 10 years later (Diamond, 2008).

•    Myth #2: Bisexuals are greedy and need to be with a man and woman at once.

Reality: The capacity to form attractions to either gender does not necessarily equal a need for two partners at once. In fact, private polyamorous arrangements have been found among married heterosexuals (15-28%), cohabitating couples (28%), lesbian couples (29%), and gay male couples (65%) (Weitzman, Davidson, & Phillips, 1999). Most bisexuals do not have to be involved with more than one gender at a time in order to feel fulfilled (Cahill, 2005).

•    Myth #3: Bisexuals don’t exist.

Reality: Alfred Kinsey’s work in the 1940’s (Kinsey, 1998) would disagree. More recent data shows that bisexuals make up the largest group within the LGB community with 1/3 of men and 2/3 of women (Cahill, 2008). According to the National Survey of Family Growth (CDC, 2005), 2.8 percent of women ages 18 to 44 identify as bisexual. In comparison, 1.3 percent identify as lesbian.

•    Myth #4: Bisexuals are promiscuous.

Reality: It is a mistake to assume that because someone has the potential to be attracted to all genders, they must have twice as many sex partners (Rust, 2001). Bisexuality is a sexual orientation independent of any cultural definition of what is moral behavior.

•    Myth #5: Bisexuals are more likely to have sexually transmitted diseases.

Reality: Who a person is does not determine likelihood of disease. What a person DOES, the sexual practices of a person, in particular, and how well a person protects themselves during sexual activities is more determinative. (Miller, Andre, Ebin, & Bessonova, 2007).

•    Myth #6: Bisexuals are accepted within the gay and lesbian community.

•    Reality: Lesbian, gay, trans, and heterosexual people harbor misinformation and biphobia (Welzer-Lang, 2008). Heterosexual people may consider bisexuals as “confused” while lesbian and gay people will not see bisexuality as a valid sexual orientation due to stigma around sexual “preference” as a choice.

•    Myth #7: Everybody is bisexual.

Reality: Although it is completely possible for people to experience an attraction for someone of the same gender at some point in their lives (Fox, 1995), this myth confuses fantasy/attraction for experience and identity. For most people these feelings pass or change over time without the person ever questioning or redefining their sexual orientations.

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