Nonmonosexual stress and dimensions of health: Within-group variation by sexual, gender, and racial/ethnic identities

Christina Dyar*, Brian A. Feinstein, Jasmine Stephens, Arielle R. Zimmerman, Michael E. Newcomb, Sarah W. Whitton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Nonmonosexual individuals (i.e., people with attractions to more than 1 gender) are at heightened risk for numerous negative health outcomes compared to individuals with exclusive attractions to either same-gender or different-gender individuals. This increased risk has been linked to the unique stress nonmonosexual individuals experience due to the stigmatization of nonmonosexuality (i.e., monosexism). However, research with this population has rarely considered multiple intersecting stigmatized identities (e.g., gender, race/ ethnicity) and has focused predominately on internalizing symptoms (i.e., anxiety/depression). The current study aimed to expand this research by taking an intersectional approach to examining (a) associations between three nonmonosexual stressors (enacted, internalized, and anticipated monosexism) and 3 dimensions of health (i.e., physical health, internalizing symptoms, substance use and problems); and (b) differences in these associations and rates of nonmonosexual stressors and health problems by sexual, gender, and racial/ ethnic identities among a diverse sample of 360 nonmonosexual individuals assigned female at birth. Results indicated that all three nonmonosexual stressors were associated with the 3 dimensions of health for the sample as a whole. There were several notable moderators of these associations. First, enacted monosexism was more strongly associated with physical health and substance use/problems for gender minorities compared to cisgender women. Second, several interactions indicated that nonmonosexual stressors were associated with poorer health for White, but not Black or Latinx, individuals. These findings highlight the importance of attending to within-group heterogeneity to understand and address the range of health disparities affecting nonmonosexual individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-25
Number of pages14
JournalPsychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2020


  • Bisexual
  • Intersectionality
  • Minority stress
  • Nonmonosexual
  • Physical health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • General Psychology


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