Bisexual women are more likely to suffer poor mental health compared to lesbians.
A new study published in the Journal of Public Health has claimed bisexual women were 65% more likely to report eating problems and 37% were more likely to self-harm than lesbians.
Researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine also found they were more likely to have suffered from depression and anxiety than lesbians.
Study senior author Dr Ford Hickson, at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said: ‘Bisexual people are at particular risk of invisibility and marginalization from both gay/lesbian communities and mainstream society.
‘Although bisexual women in our study reported experiencing less sexuality-based discrimination than lesbians, this did not benefit their mental health.’
The study found bisexual women were less likely to have come out to their family and less likely to be in a relationship.
They suggested there might be more of a negative social attitude towards bisexuality compared to lesbian and gay identity which caused bisexual women to have a negative attitude towards themselves, and expect more social rejection, putting their mental health at risk.
Because of this, bisexual women are reluctant to disclose their sexual identity and authors add: ‘Concealment of sexual orientation is known to be related to poorer mental health in sexual minority women.’
Study lead author Lisa Colledge said the results echoed international findings on mental health differences between bisexual and homosexual people.
She added: ‘All women deserve equal chances of mental wellbeing and happiness, regardless of their sexuality. Homophobic prejudice is now widely and rightly condemned; specific stigma around bisexual identity needs to be similarly confronted.’