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Biphobia is the fear of, discrimination against, or hatred of bisexuals (although in practice it extends to pansexual people too). It need not include homophobia or heterophobia, because there are stereotypes that are specific to bisexuals.
Biphobic Stereotypes[edit | edit source]
Some bisexual stereotypes include, but are not limited to: promiscuity, polygamy, living the swinging lifestyle, and being confused. In some cases, bisexuals are accused of bringing sexually transmitted disease into the heterosexual community or into the lesbian community. A related stereotype is one in which a bisexual is presumed to be willing to have sex with just about anyone. This stereotype leads to unwanted attention of a sexual nature directed at bisexual females by swingers and heterosexual males while often stereotyping bisexual males as walking AIDS risks.
Often, however, heterosexuals and homosexuals will add more stereotypes based on homophobia or heterophobia. Homophobes may think that bisexuals are gender nonconformist. Heterophobes will often think of bisexuals as maintaining privilege and collaborating with the homophobes. Some consider the belief that people are either heterosexual or homosexual (a somewhat common belief among both heterosexuals and homosexuals, both of which fall under the category of monosexuals), and thus that bisexuality does not truly exist, to be biphobic..
A 2005 study claimed that a sample of men self-identifying as bisexual did not respond equally to gay pornographic material involving only men, and only women, but instead showed four times more arousal to one than the other. However, bisexuality does not imply equal attraction towards both genders. In addition, opponents claim that genital arousal to homosexual pornographic material is not a good indicator of orientation. They also point out that the study showed a third of men had no arousal, and ask why this doesn't mean that one third of men are really asexual.  LGBT advocates subsequently attacked the study and the New York Times article which reported it as flawed and biphobic .
One common motive for negative attitudes toward bisexuality among lesbians is the fear that a bisexual woman will leave a woman for a man; the heterosexual male is seen as having an unfair systemic advantage both due to sexism and due to homophobia. Bisexual persons may also be the target of homophobia from those who consider only heterosexuality appropriate. The reverse can also apply in that bisexual persons may be targets of heterophobia or discrimination by some gays/homosexuals - this is especially prevalent amongst bisexual men. See Weiss, below.
Many anti-bisexuals also believe that bisexuality is a trend, especially a teenage one, popularised by bisexual musicians, actors, etc. (i.e. the term, he built a window in his closet): some also believe it is a stage in adolescence which happens to everyone which people grow out of and that therefore bisexuals are worse people for making an issue out of it. Some also believe bisexuals are just attention seeking for comfort or sex. However, these claims have no scientific grounds at all.
Other people say that people against bisexuals are insecure about their sexuality themselves, similarly to homophobia. It is fair to note many anti-bisexuals are also anti-homosexual, while maintaining there are only heterosexual and homosexual as sexual preferences, and a common stereotype is that female bisexuals are attention seeking heterosexuals, while male ones are just homosexual.
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- ^ Eliason MJ (1997). The prevalence and nature of biphobia in heterosexual undergraduate students.. Archives of Sexual Behavior 26 (3): 317-26. PMID 9146816
- ^ Dworkin SH (2001). Treating the bisexual client. Journal of Clinical Psychology 57 (5): 671-80. PMID 11304706
- Sexual Prejudice: The erasure of bisexuals in academia and the media Hutchins, Loraine American Sexuality magazine Volume 3, No. 4 (2005)
- Bialogue/GLAAD Bisexuality Packet for Mental Health Professionals
- Weiss, Jillian T., GL vs. BT: The Archaeology of Biphobia and Transphobia Within the U.S. Gay and Lesbian Community, Journal of Bisexuality (Haworth Press 2004), available at http://phobos.ramapo.edu/~jweiss/glvsbt.htm
- Straight, Gay or Lying? Bisexuality Revisited New York Times, July 5, 2005.
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