Women face sexual violence and harassment around the world, however, a recent research has found that the problem is more severe for bisexual women. They face more sexual violence than straight or lesbian women.
Half of bisexual women have been raped and three out of four have been sexually assaulted. These are the shocking statistics from one US research. The numbers may vary from one place in the world to the next.
Why is this? Recent research has found three main reasons. Two of these are related to the mistaken beliefs about bi women in many societies.
Bisexual women always want sex
There is a mistaken belief that bi women always want sex. The idea is spread by the media and pornography in particular. Often, women are seen kissing or fooling around with each other for the pleasure and fantasies of the men they later have sex with.
Men might get it into their heads that because a woman is attracted to both males and females, she’ll always be up for having sex. Or that she’s only interested in being with women to turn guys on.
Most men think bi women are basically their playthings and that even if they say no, they’re actually interested in sex. This misconception about bisexual women could be a cause of sexual violence against them.
Double the pain
Bi women have to deal with stereotypes from both the straight and gay communities. These include being seen as greedy since they’re attracted to both men and women, that they’re addicted to sex, or simply not willing to commit to a relationship with one partner.
These mistaken ideas might lead the male partner of a bi woman to feel his girlfriend is intentionally making him jealous or that she’s giving him reasons not to trust her. The researchers give the example of a man who says, ‘I have to be worried about everyone’. As if because his partner is bi, she’s automatically attracted to everyone in sight.
What can you do
If you’re a bi woman, know that these misconceptions exist and that they’re not a reflection of who you are as a person is key.
It’s also very important to be aware that mistaken ideas held by men in particular could make you vulnerable to sexual violence and harassment. It’s worth trying to find social support groups in your community and signing up for rape prevention and intervention programmes.
Of course, victims of sexual violence are not to blame, nor are they responsible. The onus is on others to question such mistaken beliefs.. Awareness both within the LBT community and society as a whole is vital to changing the way bi women are seen.
Reference: Why Us? Toward an Understanding of Bisexual Women’s Vulnerability for and Negative Consequences of Sexual Violence. Journal of Bisexuality. Published September 5, 2017.
*To protect the identity, names have been changed and the person/s in the picture is/are models.
Have you ever faced violence because of your sexual orientation? Comment below or share with Love Matters (LM) on our Facebook page. If you have a specific question, please ask LM experts on our discussion forum.