Mediators of Differences Between Lesbians and Bisexual Women in Sexual Identity and Minority Stress

Christina Dyar*, Brian A. Feinstein, Bonita London

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research indicates that bisexual women represent a distinct subgroup of sexual minorities whose experiences differ from those of lesbians. The goals of the current study were to (a) compare lesbians and bisexual women on dimensions of sexual identity and minority stress and (b) examine potential mediators of group differences. Two hundred nineteen lesbians and bisexual women completed an online survey that included measures of sexual identity and minority stress. Results indicated that lesbians reported higher sexual identity centrality, outness, and self-perceived accuracy of their sexual identity label, while bisexual women reported higher sexual identity uncertainty. Bisexual women’s lower sexual identity centrality was mediated by lower self-perceived accuracy of their sexual identity label, whereas their higher sexual identity uncertainty was mediated by the higher frequency with which they were assumed to be lesbian. Additionally, bisexual women’s lower levels of sexual identity disclosure were mediated by their lower sexual identity centrality. Findings underscore that there are meaningful differences between subgroups of sexual minority women and offer insight into the mechanisms underlying these group differences. Potential explanations for these differences as well as their implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-51
Number of pages9
JournalPsychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Keywords

  • Bisexual
  • Lesbian
  • Sexual identity
  • Sexual minority
  • Sexual orientation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Gender Studies

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