Psychological Effects of Bisexuality

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What is bisexuality? Synthesizing the predominant theories of bisexuality, Smiley (1997) suggested the following definition: Bisexuality is a sexual orientation in which an individual: experiences a combination of sexual and affectional attractions to members of both sexes; engages to varying degrees in sexual activities with both sexes; and self-identifies as bisexual in a way that is consonant with personal, social, political, and lifestyle preferences (Smiley, 375). Bisexual and the transgender people are two less visible segments of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. According to the authoritative Kinsey Report, which compiles data on human sexuality, almost eight in 10 people have some characteristics of bisexuality, wherein an individual feels attracted to both sexes (Klien, 13). However, bisexuals have to confront not just the homophobia of the straight community, which brands them as promiscuous, even though most are in strictly monogamous relationships, they also face derision from the gay community, which considers them closet gays, hiding behind the veneer of bisexuality because they are afraid to come out. Not surprisingly, therefore, that a recent study by the Australian National University found that bisexuals "had the worst mental health on measures of anxiety, depression and suicidality (Hall, 28). Tommy (name changed) Hogan, who came to Los Angeles, California nearly two years ago for graduate studies in Health Administration and works for Watts Health Foundation, says in adolescence he found himself being attracted to both boys and girls. In the gender-segregated society we lived in, opportunities for `fooling around' were much more readily available with peers of the same sex. I thought everyone in my circle was like me. So when I came to the Los Angeles it was very surprising to find that there were some individuals who were not attracted to men and others who were not attracted to women” (T. Hogan,...
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