Bisexual Stereotypes

As I said in May, I will be doing a series addressing stereotypes for LGBTQ+ people—talking about people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer, as well as people who are intersex and asexual. I look forward to continuing through this series.

As I have already talked about lesbian and gay stereotypes, I will talk about bisexual stereotypes today. But before talking about bisexual stereotypes, it must first be understood what it means to be bisexual.

A bisexual person is someone who is attracted to more than one sex and/or gender.[1] For example, a man attracted to both men and women is bisexual, and a woman attracted to both women and men is bisexual.

Now that readers who didn’t know about bisexuality now hopefully know what it means to be bisexual, here are a few stereotypes associated with being bisexual that has been brought to my attention from other people:

  1. Bisexual people are attracted to all genders and sexual identities. No, that’s not necessarily true, though the stereotype I just stated is closer to a description of what pansexuality is, as pansexuality involves attraction regardless of one’s sex or gender identity.
  2. A bisexual man is only attracted to men and women, and a bisexual woman is only attracted to women and men. For some bisexual people, that is what bisexuality looks like. However, as bisexuality involves attraction to more than one sex or gender, a person’s bisexuality may look different from that.
  3. Bisexual people are “confused.” Someone who is unsure or confused of their sexuality usually goes under a different label: questioning. “Bisexual” does not necessarily equal confused.
  4. Being bisexual is easy because you can “pass off as straight.” Yes, it is true that the majority of bisexual individuals end up in heterosexual marriages,[2] and that therefore one might be able to “pass off as straight.” As to whether this means that bisexual people have it “easy,” I think that this question is best answered by people who have the lived experience of being bisexual themselves.

These, of course, are just a few of the harmful stereotypes associated with being bisexual. If there are other stereotypes about bisexual people that should be discussed and/or if anyone wants to expand upon the bisexual stereotypes mentioned here, please feel free to post a comment below!

Previous posts in my series on LGBTQ+ stereotypes:


[1] I should note that not all people have the same definition of bisexuality, so my definition might not be exactly the same as someone else’s definition. That being said, it seems like a lot of bisexual people have accepted that definition, so this is the definition I will go with for the purposes of this piece: https://www.hrc.org/resources/bisexual-faq

[2] A Pew Research Survey from 2015 said that only 9% of bisexual people in the survey had same-sex partners while 84% were in heterosexual relationships: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/02/20/among-lgbt-americans-bisexuals-stand-out-when-it-comes-to-identity-acceptance/

The Bisexual Pride Flag

16 Replies to “Bisexual Stereotypes”

    1. Hmmm. I don’t know. But one thing that has helped lots of people and one thing that might help you is to remember that both gender and sexuality are a spectrum (or I think of it as a spectrum)–there are people with a spectrum of sexual attractions and gender identities (and even a spectrum within different identities). Thinking of it as a spectrum as opposed to boxes we must strictly fit in (ie “In order to be A I must behave in B, C, and D ways) has been helpful for some and might take the pressure off of you.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I actually do not understand why so called “straight’ people are so concerned about other’s sexuality…more so it seems than any LGBTQ ever does. I don’t know what truly “straight” means. I am married..to one of the opposite sex. I would not marry one of the same sex..I have though fantisized about woman to woman and my husband (who is ridiculously honest) has fantasized about male to male sex. Doesn’t mean we are one thing or the other. and I am pretty sure that it is perfectly normal for people to fantasize about same sex interactions. that would make, IMO, every human bi-sexual. of course, I could be totally wrong and just be entering early onset senility…lol

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I believe that scientic research is just in its infancy in recognizing the role of how a mother’s hormones affect her pre- born child. I spent my career fighting for pay equity in the labour force. There is still much to be discovered concerning gender role identity.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Absolutely Sally. I do think we have much to learn regarding gender roles and gender identity. Only in the last couple of months has transgender been no longer recognized as a mental health disorder by the World Health Organization. That fact by itself shows how much our world is still learning about gender.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The #4 stereotype has proven true for me. I am a classic bisexual — dated about 50% straight men and 50% lesbian women in college (late1960’s-early 70’s, so very slightly more risky than now) and am attracted at about 50% to people i meet and characters in movies/plays. But I am monogamous and married a man 45 years ago. So I identify myself when that will help people understand that bisexuality exists (isn’t a myth or a “fling,”) but not necessarily when people are talking about the harm that is done to gender and orientation minorities by violent or frightened cisgendered people. I don’t experience the hatred and prejudiced behavior so I usually take a stance as an ally. Thank you for believing that we exist.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, Maren.

      I’m glad that you help people understand that bisexuality exists. It does exist, and it’s not a myth or a “fling.” At the same time, as you said, not all people experience the same struggles–some bisexual people (and people in other gender and orientation minorities) have experienced harm, while you from the sound of things haven’t experienced that hatred or prejudiced behavior. Which goes to the root of the #4 stereotype, which is that we should not make assumptions about the experiences of people.

      Like

  4. In my preteens/teens I played sexual games with close friends (I think back on those times as just being a horny nerd desperate for some sexual satisfaction by any means), in my Mid 20’s I referred to myself as bi-curious because even though I was attracted to both women and men, I primarily only had heterosexual relationships. By my 30’s I decided to accept myself as Bisexual but also found out that there is an intolerance for both bisexual and transgender folk in the LGBT Community. I was called confused, crazy, and afraid to come to terms with being “Gay”. At 40 I met the the woman of my dreams and were together 9 years later (both Monogamous Bi) 6 of those 9 years married.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Goodness me. That’s one thing I will never understand–anyone in the LGBT community being intolerant. People deal with enough intolerance from others without having to deal with intolerance within the community. I’m glad that you found the love of your life though. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It actually doesn’t sound ridiculous at all, because I’ve heard others in the LGBTQ+ community say what you’ve said. And yeah, sadly it isn’t all-inclusive as it should be.

        Like

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