Gender Nonconformity of Bisexual Men and Women

Gerulf Rieger*, Luke Holmes, Tuesday M. Watts-Overall, Dragos C. Gruia, J. Michael Bailey, Ritch C. Savin-Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The degree to which bisexual-identified individuals are distinct from either heterosexual or homosexual individuals in their sexual orientation is an ongoing debate. We examined potential differences between these groups with respect to a strong correlate of sexual orientation, gender nonconformity (femininity in males, masculinity in females). Across pooled data, we compared self-reports of childhood gender nonconformity (n = 919) and adulthood gender nonconformity (n = 1265) and observer ratings of adulthood gender nonconformity (n = 915) between sexual orientations. Most analyses suggested a steady increase in gender nonconformity from exclusively heterosexual to exclusively homosexual. However, in some analyses, bisexual men were closer to homosexual men than to heterosexual men in their gender nonconformity. The intermediate status of bisexual people in gender nonconformity was not due to the sample having a mixture of very gender-conforming and very gender-nonconforming individuals. In total, men and women with bisexual orientations appeared neither like heterosexual nor homosexual individuals, at least with respect to their gender-related traits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2481-2495
Number of pages15
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • Bisexuality
  • Gender nonconformity
  • Sex differences
  • Sexual orientation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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