Bisexuality in women could be a lifelong orientation a new study
The finding runs counter to the idea that bisexuality is an
experimental or transitional period for women who, for instance,
are uncertain or have fear of commitment.
"These findings demonstrate that the distinction between
lesbianism and bisexuality is a matter of degree rather than kind,"
writes University of Utah psychologist Lisa Diamond in the January
issue of the journal Developmental Psychology.
To some, a finding of bisexuality as a separate sexual
orientation may seem like a no-brainer. But among many scientists
and members of the public, bisexuality has been defined by
stereotypes and unfounded assumptions.
"There were clearly some theorists who suggested that
bisexuality is a transitional stage, but that was largely based on
anecdotal, rather than empirical, data," said psychologist M. Paz
Galupo, director of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender)
Studies at Towson University in Maryland. "This view is
popularized, also, by the stereotypes that our culture holds
regarding bisexual individuals."
Diamond surveyed 79 women aged 18 to 25 who considered
themselves bisexual or lesbian, or who refused any label for their
sexual orientation. She interviewed the women five times over a
10-year period from 1995 through 2005. Respondents gave detailed
information on their sexual identities, attractions, behaviors and
their social and familial relationships.
Diamond found bisexual and unlabeled women were more likely than
lesbians to change their sexual identity over the 10 years. The
bisexual or unlabeled women tended to switch between bisexual and
unlabeled rather than to lesbian or heterosexual.
Nearly 20 percent of respondents switched from a bisexual or
unlabeled identity to heterosexual, but more than half of these
women switched back to bisexual or unlabeled.
(Agencies via Xinhua February 4, 2008)