Perceptions of Bisexual Promiscuity: Further Evidence of Binegativity?

Perceptions of Bisexual Promiscuity: Further Evidence of Binegativity? – Briana C. Cook


Despite progress made through research and education about varied forms of sexual expression, evidence suggests that bisexuality is not immune to negative evaluation and judgment.  In fact, research has revealed that bisexuals experience greater discrimination than either lesbians or gay males because discrimination (i.e., binegativity or biphobia) comes at the hands of both the heterosexual and homosexual communities.  Indeed, there are limitless anecdotal accounts of bisexuals being presumed promiscuous and incapable of long-term relationships.  Some research indicates that bisexual women are the most likely targets of accused promiscuity and infidelity, with less research examining whether such views extend to bisexual men.  Thus, the purpose of the current research was to collect further evidence of binegativity by investigating participant discrimination toward bisexual males.

In this study, participants were presented with an identical scenario describing an act of infidelity and asked to complete a measure of binegativity.  In some cases, the unfaithful partner was a heterosexual male; in others, a bisexual male.  It was thought that participants would evaluate the bisexual male character more negatively (i.e., discriminate) than the heterosexual male character.  Although this hypothesis was not confirmed, it may be the case that the measure used to assess binegativity was flawed – very few “good” measures of binegativity exist for use in the scientific literature.  When five specific binegativity questions were examined independently, it was found that participants did judge the bisexual male more negatively than the heterosexual male.  Further research needs to be done, and better measures should be developed, to verify the findings of this study.