A new study has revealed why exactly it is many gay and lesbian people have negative attitudes towards bisexual people.
Published in the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity journal, researchers found that lesbians perceived bi women as more sexually attracted to men than they are women. This results in ‘more negative attitudes toward bisexual women’ among lesbians than gay men.
The purpose of the study was to help reduce ‘bisexual health disparities via improving dynamics within LGBTQ communities’.
Bisexual people face some of the highest levels of stigma and discrimination. While the LGBTI community tended to be less discriminatory towards bi people than heterosexual, the bi community still faces a lot of challenges.
A recent Pride in London’s survey found that 46% of bisexual people aren’t out to their families, compared to 12% of gay men and 17% of lesbians. The United Nations released a shocking report in July which revealed bi women are more at risk from sexual violence. About 69% of bi woman respondents said they have been raped or suffered physical violence and/or stalking from a partner. The number for bi men is 37%.
‘Androcentric desire hypothesis’
Researchers came up with the term ‘androcentric desire hypothesis’ to describe the phenonmenon that gay and lesbian people perceive bisexuals as being more attracted to men.
The research suggested gender dynamics play a critical role in how bisexual people are evaluated in LGBTQ communities.
‘These results shed light on how and why bisexual individuals may experience prejudice from lesbian and gay people,’ researchers said.
Hollywood actor Nico Tortorella recently spoke to Gay Star News about bi-phobia in the LGBTI community. He said most of the criticism he faced about his bisexuality came from gay men.
‘Firstly, bi-phobia and bi-erasure’s one of the biggest problems in the community. There’s little to no positive visibility of any sort of bisexual character in TV or film,’
‘So many people think being a bisexual is a pitstop to being gay. That’s absolutely not the case for me and so many other bisexuals that I know.
‘I’ve dated other bisexuals and I’ve dated straight women and gay men. The most flack I get – and not necessarily flack but just confusion of acceptance – is from, specifically, cis gay men that can’t fathom that I can play in the spectrum of both gender and sexuality.’