Dimensions of sexual identity and minority stress among bisexual women: The role of partner gender

Christina Dyar*, Brian A. Feinstein, Bonita London

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

57 Scopus citations

Abstract

Qualitative research has indicated that bisexual women's experiences may differ based on the gender of their current relationship partner. Given that partner gender may function as an indicator of sexual orientation, bisexual women in same-sex relationships are likely assumed to be lesbians, whereas bisexual women in different-sex relationships are likely assumed to be heterosexual, and these assumptions likely impact experiences of minority stress and components of sexual identity. The goals of the current study were twofold: (a) to compare bisexual women in different types of relationships (same-sex, different-sex, and single) on dimensions of sexual identity and minority stress, and (b) to examine mediators of these differences. One hundred six bisexual women completed an online survey that included measures of sexual identity and minority stress. Results indicated that bisexual women in same-sex relationships reported higher sexual identity uncertainty, outness, and frequency of assumed lesbian identity, as well as lower frequency of experiences of binegative exclusion and rejection by lesbians/gay men compared with bisexual women in different-sex relationships. Bisexual women in same-sex relationships also reported lower depression compared with those in different-sex relationships and those who were single. The higher sexual identity uncertainty of bisexual women in same-sex relationships was mediated by higher frequency of assumed lesbian identity, whereas the higher depression of bisexual women in different-sex relationships was mediated by higher frequency of experiences of binegative exclusion and rejection by lesbians/gay men. Potential explanations for these differences, as well as their implications, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-451
Number of pages11
JournalPsychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity
Volume1
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Keywords

  • Bisexual
  • Sexual identity
  • Sexual minority
  • Sexual orientation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Gender Studies

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Dimensions of sexual identity and minority stress among bisexual women: The role of partner gender'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this