I always knew that women are at a higher risk of sexual assault and relationship violence … But what I didn’t know is, we are more vulnerable to violence depending on our sexual orientation. And bisexual women are particularly at risk…
Nicole Johnson a psychology professor at Lehigh University was researching sexual violence victimization when she noticed a trend: bisexual women experience more harm … she argues that three factors make bi women more likely to be abused.
- First, cultural stereotypes portray bisexual women as constantly sexually available, regardless of our consent.
- Second, high rates of substance use across the LGBTQ community leave us vulnerable to violence.
- Finally, biphobic harassment—being targeted especially for our identities—ups our risk.“
“These disparities are the result of having to exist in hostile and toxic social environments,” says Robyn Ochs “They’re not a result of our identities” too often, people blame bi identity for what is, in reality, preconceived notions about bisexual people that promote society-wide discrimination. This focus on discrimination is called the minority stress model “Living under stress is exhausting,” says Ochs. “It’s not good for our health.”
One stressor that bi women face, as Johnson found, is harmful stereotypes about our sexuality It’s a reality faced by bisexual women in American culture, and it’s called hypersexualization “People often mistake someone coming out as bisexual as a sexual invitation,” says Ochs…