It’s not a secret those in minority groups deal with more mental health issues compared to the general population. A recent study from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine emphasizes this, finding United Kingdom bisexuals more prone to poor mental health than the general population.
“More bisexual women reported poor mental health or psychological distress than did lesbians. Bisexual women may be more likely to experience social stress due to the ‘double discrimination’ of homophobia and biphobia,” the study found. “This stress, experienced mainly as internalized and felt stigma, could result in greater risk for poor mental health compared with lesbians. Addressing both biphobia and homophobia within UK society has important preventative mental health implications.”
The study was done through a self-completion survey finished by 937 bisexual identified and 4769 lesbian identified women. The authors used controls for age, income, student status and employment to make fair comparisons between lesbians and bisexuals of similar backgrounds.
One example of mental illness more common among bisexuals is eating disorders. They were less likely to be “out” about their sexual orientation and attended fewer lesbian and bisexual social events. Bisexual women were also generally more young and poor in this study.
Much of the difficulty affecting bisexual women likely comes from biphobia present in not only the general population but gay community as well. The famous zoologist and sex researcher Alfred Kinsey created the Kinsey Scale to represent the spectrum of human sex behaviors. The scale is measured by numbers, with zero for exclusively heterosexual behavior and six exclusively homosexual behavior. Bisexuality lands around the middle of the scale, depending on the individual. There are subsets within this community, with those identifying as bi-bi (equally attracted to both genders), bi-straight (more attracted to the opposite gender) and bi-gay (more attracted to the same gender). Despite this, there are those who think bisexuals can’t “make up their mind” regarding sexual orientation or use the status of bisexual to blend in with the heterosexual community when, in reality, bisexuality is a tangible variant of sexual orientation with a community that deserves respect.
Sovereign Health of Arizona is built to accept women of all sexual orientations. Trained mental health professionals can treat mental illnesses caused by disenfranchisement, social isolation, family problems and other issues sadly common for bisexual women. to learn more about our programs you can reach Sovereign Health of Arizona at any time at 866-598-5661.
Written by Nicholas Ruiz, a Sovereign Health Group writer
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