Clinical Psychology 9 (2016), 1, 121-121

Oral papers

Which People with Bisexual Experience Identify as Bisexual? Insights from a Population-Representative Sample in Australia

R. De Visser - University of Sussex, Falmer, United Kingdom
J. Richters - University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
C. Rissel - University Of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
A. Grulich - University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
J. Simpson - University Of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

Fulltext (english, pages 121-121).pdf

Objective: Given ongoing debates about the “reality” and stability of bisexuality, it is important to understand why people with bisexual experiences do or do not identify as bisexual. This paper presents analyses designed to determine which people with bisexual experience identify as bisexual. Design and Method: This paper reports analyses of a population-representative sample of 20,094 Australians aged 16-69 who completed computer-assisted telephone interviews. Results: Overall, 9.4% of the sample reported sexual experiences with male and female partners - i.e., they had bisexual experience. Only 16.1% of these people identified as bisexual, but 74.4% identified as heterosexual. The 1846 people with bisexual experience were more likely to identify as bisexual if they were younger, and did not have a managerial/professional occupation. They were less likely to identify as bisexual if they reported a greater proportion of other-sex partners, and had engaged in more heterosexual behaviors. Conclusions: The findings highlight the importance of current attraction and recent experiences for sexual identity. They raise the question of whether behaviorally bisexual people are most likely to identify as heterosexual because society is heteronormative.

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