Bisexuality - Allison Taylor- 803577009 Lianna Hart- Monday...

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Allison Taylor- 803577009 Lianna Hart- Monday 3:00 November 21, 2010 Biphobia: Why Does It Exist? “The world is flat. The sun revolves around the earth. Human beings are either heterosexual or homosexual, (Garber,1995: 14) right? Wrong. Bisexuality, having sexual feelings and attraction to people of the same sex as well as the opposite sex (Patrick, 2000), is something that inspires an innumerable set of misconceptions because it is not understood and does not fall within a strictly hetero or homosexual definition. In its simplest translation the term “biphobia” is a fear of or a hatred for individuals that consider themselves or identify as bisexual. People tend to hate things that they do not understand. Biphobia is prevalent in the heterosexual world as well as within gay and lesbian communities. Countless myths, misconceptions, and stereotypes exist about bisexuals and many of them are what contribute to widespread biphobia. Furthermore, when regarding the idea that gender is socially constructed (West & Zimmerman, 1991) there are clearly defined gender roles and identities for straight women, straight men, gay men, and lesbian women. Similarly, according to a nominalist view, if you are dating a person of the same sex you are assumed to be gay, and if you are dating a person of the opposite sex you are assumed to be straight because of the sexual dichotomy that has been constructed and categorized by society (Boswell, 1993). These nominalists argue that human sexuality is something we have created, not a reality that we naturally perceive (Boswell, 1993). What about bisexuals? There are no social rules with regards to bisexuality. Even when individuals come out as bisexual, frequently, people assume you are really either straight or gay and just are unable to, or do not want to, make up your
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mind about your sexuality. Coming out as bisexual is also often seen as an attempt to be “trendy.” Both hetero and homosexuals think that sexuality has to be one way or another and fluidity in sexuality is not socially accepted. A kind of sexual continuum is a concept that has not been implemented into society. I think bi-invisibility, misunderstanding, and the fear that accompanies unknown or ambiguous sexuality are the largest components in the development and consistency of biphobia. Bisexuality is something that is not necessarily immediately apparent because there are not clearly defined ways of “doing” bisexuality. There are not many stereotypes relating to bisexuality largely because bisexuals do not get much recognition in the heterosexual communities, the homosexual communities, or in the media. However, the stereotypes and misunderstandings of bisexuality that do exist play a large part in biphobia. Many straight people may see bisexuals as “closeted men who deceive their wives with a series of randomly chose sex
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This note was uploaded on 02/15/2012 for the course SOC M162 taught by Professor Professoranderson during the Fall '11 term at UCLA.

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Bisexuality - Allison Taylor- 803577009 Lianna Hart- Monday...

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