Bisexual prejudice among lesbian and gay people: Examining the roles of gender and perceived sexual orientation

Jessica Lynn Matsick, Jennifer D. Rubin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Research on dynamics within communities of sexual and gender minorities is scant, despite reports that people experience prejudice within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) spaces. The present research examined dynamics within LGBTQ communities and used gender as a lens of understanding bisexual prejudice among lesbian women and gay men. In two online studies with lesbian and gay participants (NStudy1 = 120; NStudy2 = 165), we randomly assigned participants to reflect on lesbian and gay people's attitudes toward bisexual women or bisexual men. In each study, we evaluated lesbian and gay people's perceptions of identity instability, sexual irresponsibility, and interpersonal hostility. In Study 2, we proposed that beliefs about bisexual people's attraction (to men or to women) serve as a mechanism of bisexual prejudice among lesbian and gay people. We found that people perceived bisexual women and men as being more sexually attracted to men than they are to women, which helps to explain why some lesbian women reported more negative attitudes toward bisexual women than gay men did. Moreover, we tested whether lesbian and gay people's identification with their ingroup, as well as their experiences with dating bisexuals, exacerbated negative perceptions of bisexuals. Taken together, these studies offer implications for reducing bisexual health disparities via improving dynamics within LGBTQ communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-155
Number of pages13
JournalPsychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018

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sexual orientation
prejudice
Sexual Behavior
gender
community
Sexual Minorities
Transgender Persons
experience
minority
health

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

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abstract = "Research on dynamics within communities of sexual and gender minorities is scant, despite reports that people experience prejudice within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) spaces. The present research examined dynamics within LGBTQ communities and used gender as a lens of understanding bisexual prejudice among lesbian women and gay men. In two online studies with lesbian and gay participants (NStudy1 = 120; NStudy2 = 165), we randomly assigned participants to reflect on lesbian and gay people's attitudes toward bisexual women or bisexual men. In each study, we evaluated lesbian and gay people's perceptions of identity instability, sexual irresponsibility, and interpersonal hostility. In Study 2, we proposed that beliefs about bisexual people's attraction (to men or to women) serve as a mechanism of bisexual prejudice among lesbian and gay people. We found that people perceived bisexual women and men as being more sexually attracted to men than they are to women, which helps to explain why some lesbian women reported more negative attitudes toward bisexual women than gay men did. Moreover, we tested whether lesbian and gay people's identification with their ingroup, as well as their experiences with dating bisexuals, exacerbated negative perceptions of bisexuals. Taken together, these studies offer implications for reducing bisexual health disparities via improving dynamics within LGBTQ communities.",
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