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As bisexual individuals in the United States U. studies of individual and social attitudes toward bisexual men and women have been conducted almost exclusively with convenience samples, with limited generalizability to the broader U. Our study provides an assessment of attitudes toward bisexual men and women among a nationally representative probability sample of heterosexual, gay, lesbian, and Bi sexual girls in Huston Idaho adults in the U. We included two modified 5-item versions of the Bisexualities : Indiana Attitudes Scale BIASvalidated sub-scales that were developed to measure attitudes toward bisexual men and women.
Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, gamma regression, and paired t-tests. Across sexual identities, self-identified other participants reported the most positive attitudes, while heterosexual male participants reported the least positive attitudes. While recent population data suggest a marked shift in more positive attitudes toward gay men and lesbian women in the general population of the U. Findings document the relative lack of positive attitudes toward bisexual individuals among the general population of adults in the U. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attributionwhich permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Debby Herbenick, Principal Investigator. The funders had no role in study de, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. All other authors have declared that no competing interests exist. This stigmatization of bisexuality among monosexual i. Biphobia derives in part from heterosexist reaction to sexual expression that is not heteronormative same-gender sexual expressionas well as monosexist reaction to sexual expression that is not monosexual e.
Thus, while sexual minority persons do share some collective experiences of prejudice living in a heteronormative and heterosexist society e. The deployment of oppressive structures often create multiple levels of oppressive dynamics, from the dominant group to the minority group, and also from minority group to other minority groups [ 8 ].
In other words, from a sexual rights perspective, negative attitudes from gay men and lesbian women toward bisexual individuals can be conceptualized as reinforcing of larger oppressive structures against non-heteronormative, non-monosexual forms of expression [ 910 ]. The deleterious effects of stigma and prejudice on the health of sexual minority individuals have been well-documented across both physiological and psychological domains.
Broadly, stress can be conceptualized as a biopsychosocial process occurring at three interconnected levels: 1 biological e. Recent research has documented the existence of a wide range of distinct health disparities among bisexual individuals, relative to their exclusively heterosexual and homosexual counterparts [ 2526 ].
Compared to their gay and lesbian peers, bisexual individuals report higher rates of mood and anxiety disorders [ 2728 ], physical and emotional abuse [ 29 ], and substance abuse [ 30 ], which are strong predictors of early and excess mortality. social and behavioral science researchers have made efforts to assess attitudes toward bisexuality, as distinct from heterosexuality and heterosexuality, in a range of convenience samples in the U. Mohr and Rochlen developed the Attitudes Regarding Bisexuality Scale ARBS with convenience samples of lesbian, gay, and heterosexual college students and found two factors associated with attitudes towards bisexuality: tolerance and stability [ 34 ].
Tolerance determined whether bisexuality was viewed as morally acceptable, whereas stability determined whether bisexuality was perceived as a legitimate sexual orientation. Attitudes regarding bisexuality varied greatly in respect to the gender of the bisexual individual; specifically, bisexual men were rated less positively than bisexual women in studies with other convenience samples of heterosexual college students [ 1835 — 37 ].
Brewster and Moradi developed and psychometrically evaluated another measure, the Anti-Bisexual Experiences Scaleusing a different scaling approach based on data from convenience samples of bisexual individuals [ 5 ].
Attitudes towards bisexual individuals were less favorable than a wide range of religious, racial, political, and sexuality groups e. Indeed, injection drug users were the only group to be perceived more negatively. Additionally, the findings are nearly two decades old and predate a of structural and societal changes that have reflected changes in attitudes among heterosexual individuals toward sexual minority individuals in some ways, including legislation recognizing the legality of same-sex marriage [ 39 ].
Our study aimed to examine attitudes toward bisexual men and women in the general population of the U. We used abridged versions of the Bisexualities : Indiana Attitudes Scale BIAS [ 40 ], incorporating two forms measuring distinct attitudes towards bisexual men and bisexual women—i.
The BIAS assesses a of domains that have emerged in studies, including bisexual men and women being confused or in transition regarding their sexual orientation, bisexual men and women as hypersexual, and bisexual men and women as vectors of STI.
The current study is innovative not only in terms of sampling, by relying on a large probability sample of adults from throughout the U. The first wave of data was collected inand subsequently in,and Research panels accessed through GfK are based on a national probability sample established using both random digit dialing RDD and an address-based sampling ABS frame.
ABS involves the probability sampling of a frame of residential addresses derived from the U. Randomly selected addresses are recruited to the research panel through a series of mailings and subsequently by telephone follow-ups to non-responders when possible. To further correct sources of sampling and non-sampling error, study samples are corrected with a post-stratification adjustment using demographic distributions from the March Current Population Survey CPSthe monthly population survey conducted by the U. Bureau of the Census considered to be the standard for measuring demographic and other trends in the U.
These adjustments result in a panel base weight that was employed in a probability proportional to size selection method for establishing the samples for this study. Oversampling of specific subgroups are corrected by adjusting the corresponding weights accordingly with the CPS benchmarks serving as reference points. Once the sample frame was established, all individuals within that frame received a recruitment message from GfK that provided a brief description of the NSSHB and invited them to participate.
Given sufficient participation across sexual identitythe oversample of gay men was excluded in this analysis, resulting in a total unweighted sample of 2, adults. Post-stratification weights, provided by GfK, were used to maximize generalizations. The post-stratification weights were produced using an iterative proportional fitting procedure that aligned the study sample to all study benchmark distributions from the March CPS. All hereafter presents the weighted data. As we focused on the attitudes of non-bisexual individuals about bisexual persons, 33 self-identified bisexual male and 61 bisexual female participants were intentionally excluded from subsequent analyses.
The weighted total sample resulted in 3, adults, with 2, from the general population and from the 18—34 year-old oversample. A sensitivity analysis excluding the oversample of 18—34 year-old adults was conducted for all analyses. No ificant difference were observed, and therefore, the oversample of 18—34 year-old adults was pooled with adults from the general population.
In preparation for survey data collection, we engaged a panel of expert reviewers from a range of both scientific and community-based organizations who reviewed the original BIAS scales item BIAS-m sub-scale for male participants, item BIAS-f s ub-scale for female participants [ 140 ]. studies have demonstrated differences in attitudes toward bisexual women in comparison to bisexual men and, as such, we sought to determine whether this was the case in a national probability sample.
A panel of six expert reviewers helped the researchers to identify common themes across scale items in order to identify those that tapped into the most important factors that emerged during prior data analysis [ 112 ]. While our pilot study, as well as other studies, showed ificant differences in attitudes toward bisexual men and bisexual women, the same 5 themes were selected by reviewers as most relevant for both men and women, specifically:.
After examining feedback from reviewers, the study team identified the highest ranked items and conducted a second level of review with the expert panel. Reviewers agreed, despite similarity of the scale items, that separate items for attitudes toward bisexual men and bisexual women are necessary in order to capture potentially important gender differences in a probability sample.
These abridged scale items were compiled for the wave of NSSHB in order to collect data from a nationally representative sample of self-identified heterosexual, gay, lesbian, and other participants. As an increasing of other identified NSSHB participants have described their orientation as asexual, we have offered this term as a separate option in recent waves of data collection. For an overall measurement of attitudes towards bisexual men and women, we summed the responses for all participants who completed each BIAS scale, subtracting by the total of items answered.
Due to the right-skewness of the scale response distributions, generalized linear modeling with gamma distributions log link were utilized to assess the association between sociodemographic characteristics and BIAS scores. To test for differences between negative attitudes towards bisexual men versus bisexual women, weighted paired t-tests and Wilcoxon ed rank tests were conducted on BIAS-m and BIAS-f scores.
Bi sexual girls in Huston Idaho analyses were performed using Stata version 13 StataCorp. Stata Statistical Software: Release Again, self-identified bisexual participants were intentionally excluded from these analyses since the study focused on the attitudes of non-bisexual individuals about bisexual persons.
Proportions were identical for the female version, with slightly more heterosexual participants completing the sub-scale. Regarding the response rate for the BIAS sub-scales, Average BIAS scores for participants completing both scales were Table 4 presents the relationships between specific demographic characteristics and mean BIAS scores. Age emerged as a related factor with attitudes toward bisexual men and women. Gender was also a ificant factor, such that, relative to men in the sample, women reported ificantly lower scores on the BIAS-f.
There were not; however, any ificant gender differences between participants on the BIAS-m. Similar patterns were found with the male and female sub-scales. Thus, higher income participants were more likely to report more positive attitudes toward bisexual men and women. Similarly, educational attainment was ificantly associated with participants' attitudes. Participants whose educational attainment was a high school diploma or less reported ificantly higher BIAS scores.
Thus, participants with higher levels of educational attainment were more likely to report more positive attitudes toward bisexual men and women. This was finding was consistent for both subscales on attitudes toward bisexual men and women. Our findings are Bi sexual girls in Huston Idaho the first to document attitudes toward bisexual Bi sexual girls in Huston Idaho and women among a probability sample of adults in the general population of the U.
While a small of studies have examined attitudes toward bisexual individuals or bisexuality in a range of convenience samples, our paper is only the second that explores such attitudes in a nationally representative sample, and is the first to do so in a sample of gay, lesbian, and other-identified individuals. Further nationally representative data on attitudes toward bisexual men and women are needed in order to provide a clearer sense of change over time in such attitudes.
Positive attitudes toward gay and lesbian individuals among heterosexual individuals have dramatically increased over the past decade [ 31 ], both in the U. In the U. These rates have remained constant almost a year after the Supreme Court ruling Obergefell v.
Hodges [ 46 ]. These responses can be interpreted in a variety of ways, including the participant not knowing, the participant being unsure, or the participant not caring [ 47 ].
Additionally, mid-point responses may also reflect social desirability bias [ 48 ]. While it is encouraging that most participants did not report more explicitly negative attitudes, that over one-third of participants neither agreed nor disagreed with every scale item may also be indicative of a general ambivalence toward bisexual men and women within the general population [ 49 ]. This may be reflective of larger cultural shifts away from expressing explicitly negative or discriminatory attitudes toward minority groups, while implicit or unconscious biases may still operate [ 50 ].
This may also be partially due to the relative invisibility of bisexual individuals and positive bisexual role models, relative even to increasing portrayals of gay men and lesbians in media and social consciousness [ 328 ]. Additionally, while it is important to document the existence of health disparities, researchers and public health professionals are encouraged to be mindful of their role in perpetuating these stereotypes. Researchers are encouraged to engage with bisexual communities in both research de and dissemination in order to ensure that their research does not cause further unintentional damage to these communities [ 24 ].
Several findings on demographic factors associated with self-reported attitudes are parallel to from prior studies focused on convenience samples and warrant further discussion [ 133 ]. Gender was ificantly associated with self-reported attitudes. Specifically, women were more likely to report more positive attitudes for bisexual men and women. This may be because, overall, women tend to be less conservative and look more favorably upon social issues related to equality [ 58 ].
Similarly, attitudes toward sexual minority women are less negative than those towards sexual minority men. Being made aware of the damage that this constant regulation may have on the way that they are able to experience their life may make women less prone to posing similar regulations on the lives of others. Additionally, more women identify as bisexual than men and women have also been thought to be more sexually fluid than men [ 14 ].
Age also emerged as ificant, specifically that lower age under 25 years was associated with more positive attitudes. These findings are consistent with recent qualitative cohort research on bisexual men, in which those in the 18—24 year old age cohort reported more acceptance from their heterosexual and gay and lesbian peers, than those in the older cohorts [ 63 ]. Contemporary youth are more likely to consider and define their sexuality and gender in ways that are less rigid than older generations.
This is reflected both in national surveys that have found an increasing of youth adopting non-monosexual identity labels e. Youth may be more sensitive and resistant to stereotypes about those who adopt a bisexual label based on reflections of their own sexualities. In relation to sexual identity, this may also explain why other-identified participants were more likely than others to report more positive attitudes toward bisexual men and women.
However, their attitudes were also less positive than other-identified individuals. Additionally, regarding sexual prejudice more broadly, oppressive structures operate through multiple levels, and to a large Bi sexual girls in Huston Idaho monosexism might be a fundamental source of oppressive attitudes faced by bisexual individuals. It is important to also consider that monosexism is dominated by heteronormative discourse thus, placing non-heterosexual forms of expression in antithesis to heteronormativity but also in conflict with each other.
This is interesting given that, in many convenience samples of gay and bisexual men, Black men are ificantly more likely to identify as bisexual than as gay [ 5365 ].
Specifically, lower levels of income were reported with less positive attitudes toward bisexual men and women. This was also true of education, in that lower educational attainment was associated with less positive attitudes toward bisexual men and women.
When away from home in an academic setting, students are often encouraged to question their beliefs, tolerate and accept diversity, and sometimes explore their sexuality. They may also be exposed to others whose sexual lives differ from their own. This Bi sexual girls in Huston Idaho whether in their lives or to the lives of others may reduce judgement that they may have had about an otherwise unknown group [ 2 ].
As with all social science research, this study is not without limitations. Future research would benefit from exploring attitudes toward bisexual transgender, non-binary, gender-queer, and other groups of individuals who may not identify as male or female. While some perhaps have not included these non-binary identities in studies on bisexuality, due to the assumption that the s of people who would report these identities is too low, it may be the case that we simply have not afforded individuals the option to report such identities consistently in research.
Additionally, as in prior waves of NSSHBsmall s of individuals self-identified their sexual orientation as other. Unfortunately, we were not able to capture a large enough sub-sample size to explore the diversity among individuals who are captured under the other umbrella e. An interesting finding that emerged, however, is that attitudes toward bisexual men and women among the aggregated other individuals were the most positive of all sexual identity sub-groups. Future research on sexuality-related attitudes and concerns among other-identified individuals is warranted.
Although it was not the aim of our study to directly examine ly established health disparities, the pervasive absence of positive attitudes toward bisexual men and women may be one of a of other complex factors that continue to drive higher rates of adverse health outcomes among bisexual men and women. Researchers should continue to explore these unique health disparities in the context of social attitudes toward bisexual men and women in the U. After documenting the existence of an absence of positive attitudes toward bisexual men and women in the general U. The study team would like to express their appreciation to the members of the BIAS expert review panel, whose insight was essential in modifying and abridging the sub-scales.
We would also like to thank the editor and reviewers for thorough feedback and suggestions that ificantly improved the quality of this paper. Data curation: TCF.Bi sexual girls in Huston Idaho
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