A study has revealed a disturbing fact about bisexuals that many health experts long suspected: mental health problems are more common in bisexual women in comparison to lesbians and straight women.
While the study did not reveal the causes, they can be guessed easily. Here are four probable reasons why the incidence rate of mental health issues in bisexual women is higher than it is in other women.
- Bi women suffer prejudice from others in LGBT community as well as straight people
There’s a general consensus among sociologists that bisexuals are considered as outsiders by the members of their larger community as well as straight people. Lesbians and gays are often suspicious about bisexuals because of their sexual orientation, a fact that’s ironical to say the least.
Lesbians, gays, and transgenders speak of greater acceptability by the main community. However, when it comes to accepting the biggest solo group within their larger community, they become tight-lipped. While bisexuals are the biggest group within the LGBT community and bisexual dating sites, they are not readily accepted by other members and are frequently prejudiced again.
Straight people too also prefer to not mingle with bisexuals, to a large extent because they incorrectly think bisexuals as of sex-crazy, promiscuous, and loose.
This kind of behavior on the part of other community members of the LGBT members and straight people fosters feelings of alienation in bisexuals, which in turn makes them more vulnerable to depression, anxiety, and mental health problems.
- Depression, anxiety, and binge-drinking more common in bi women
A 2011-study also showed that bi women are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression and indulge in binge-drinking, all of which affect mental health negatively.
- Bi women are more likely to be on food stamps than straight women
As per a study, LGBTs are more likely to be on food stamps than straight people. It is estimated that LGBTs are almost two times more likely to be on food stamps than straight people. However, the same study shows that bisexuals fared worst within the LGBT community. In comparison to lesbians, gays, and transgenders, bisexuals were twice more likely to receive SNAP benefits.
There’s a direct correlation between income and mental health, with more than one study showing that mental health problems are more common in unemployed and people with lower monthly income.
- More bi women are raped, physically attacked, and abused by their partners
Another study had revealed this ugly fact. The study claimed that in comparison to their lesbian and straight counterparts, more bisexual women are raped, physically attacked and abused by their partners. The physical and mental trauma suffered in an abusive relationship further makes bi women more vulnerable to mental health issues.
All in all, the evidence that mental health problems are more common in bi women than in lesbian and straight women is irrefutable. It is also all too clear that cosmetic changes will not bring about a meaningful change. It is high time that strong steps should be taken to ensure better acceptability of bisexuals by the mainstream group as well as the other groups in the LGBT community.