Bisexual women twice as likely to be abused as straight or lesbian women

A new US study finds that bisexual women have a higher prevalence rate of rape and sexual violence when compared to lesbian and straight women

Bisexual women twice as likely to be abused as straight or lesbian women
26 January 2013

Bisexual women in the US experience more violence than their gay and straight counterparts, a new study finds.

The Center for Disease and Control (CDC) released findings this week from a study that gauges the prevalence of sexual violence among LGBT men and women in the US.

The data, gathered in 2010 through first-person interviews consiting of questions that separate cases of physical violence, rape and stalking, reveals that:

  • bisexual women are twice as likely (49%) to experience severe physical violence by an intimate partner compared to straight women (23%).
  • bisexual women were found to experience rape twice as frequently as lesbians.
  • one in three bisexual women, compared to one in six heterosexual women, have experienced stalking at some point in their lifetime.
  • 61% of the bisexual women interviewed have experienced rape, violence and/or stalking in their lifetime.

The study further  revealed that most bisexual and heterosexual women who experienced rape reported that the crimes were commited by male perpetrators. Out of the 9,086 females interviewed, 96.5% identified as heterosexual, 2.2% as bisexual, and 1.3% as lesbian.

The study also found that lesbian women and gay men reported levels of sexual violence equal to or higher than those of heterosexuals.

According to the study approximately 4 out of 10 gay men, half of bisexual men and 1 in 5 heterosexual men in the US have experienced sexual violence other than rape at some point in their lives. Gay men were found to be three times as likely to experience unwanted sexual contact during their lifetime when compared to heterosexual men.

Out of the 7,421 males interviewed, 96% identified as straight, 1.2% were bisexual and 2% identified as gay.

Participants in the study were not asked whether their sexual orientation or sex of the perpetrator had any relation or correlation to thier being victimized. Mikel Walters, a behavioral scientist for the CDC, said in an interview: ‘We hope that these findings will be used by policymakers and practitioners to expand services to everyone who experiences intimate partner violence’.

‘Intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and stalking are widespread, and they affect every type of person, regardless of their relationship or sexual orientation’. 

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