Bisexuality's not a gateway drug!

A new study proves what most of us already knew -- bisexuality is not a transitional phase between sexual preferences.

By Carol Lloyd
January 18, 2008 1:33AM (UTC)
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Bisexual women around the globe will be sleeping soundly tonight, unfettered by the crippling identity questions that have been plaguing them for decades! A new study being published by the American Psychological Association is crushing the ol' BUG (bisexual until graduation) stereotype that has infested so many otherwise rational minds on both sides of the sexual preference spectrum.

Seriously, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Laugh because, like so many sexuality science projects, this study seems to approach its light subject matter with earnest solemnity. Or cry because it serves a good purpose in setting the record -- er, bent.


A 10-year study of 79 nonheterosexual women found that bisexual women constitute a "distinctive sexual orientation" and are not simply experimenting on their way to lesbianism, as some apparently had hypothesized. Researcher Lisa M. Diamond, a graduate student at the University of Utah, found that her subjects maintained a stable attraction to both sexes over the years.

Sarcasm aside, the study did point to some interesting conclusions about the fluidity of some women's identities -- especially those who claim a bisexual identity or decline to be labeled at all. Bisexual and unlabeled women were more likely to change their identity (typically switching between unlabeled and bisexual) than lesbians. Another finding debunks the idea that bisexuals -- being chronically indecisive or insatiable or something -- are bad girlfriend material or destined to a life of lonely quickies. The study found that not only were bi women capable of long-term, committed, monogamous relationships, but by the end of the study a greater percentage of bisexual (89 percent) and unlabeled (85 percent) women were in relationships than their lesbian (70 percent) or heterosexual (67 percent) counterparts. Does this mean those who swing both ways cast better love charms? I wouldn't bet on it: Maybe bisexual-women relationship rates are simply following the laws of mathematics, since they have more partners to choose from.

Carol Lloyd

Carol Lloyd is currently at work on a book about the gentrification wars in San Francisco's Mission District.

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