More than a Third of Bisexuals in UK Face Sexual Harassment

The largest national survey in the United Kingdom ever to assess the needs of bisexuals was released Tuesday (May 26, 2015). The survey revealed that up to 38 percent of the people who identified as bisexual have experienced some sort of sexual harassment.

The Equality Network of the UK released the “Complicated?” report. In it, the researchers also noted that nearly half of the respondents (48 percent) experienced some kind of biphobic comments first-hand while accessing services. Most of the biphobia occurred when dealing with BLGT services and also with health services.

One-third of the respondents said that they do not feel comfortable in telling their doctors that they are bisexual.

In the widespread survey, 515 bisexuals in the UK were interviewed.

This first bisexual survey of its kind in the UK found “clear evidence of biphobic discrimination,” said Tim Hopkins, director of the Equality Network. He added that for many bisexuals the report “simply reflects the realities they have been painfully aware of for a long time.”

Hopkins also said, “Unfortunately, as the report findings show, bisexual people are often misunderstood and discriminated against by many services. This leaves them at high risk of not getting appropriate information and support. We hope that this report will help services to better understand and assist bisexual people.”

The study deals with negative stereotypes that included calling bisexuals “promiscuous” and “unfaithful.” There were reports of doctors calling bisexuals “revolting faggots” and one psychotherapist who blamed a female bisexual’s rape attack on her bisexuality.

Among the responses, two-out-of-three bisexuals (or 66 percent) said they pass as heterosexual, while 42 percent needed to pass as gay or lesbian when seeking services. One-in-four bisexuals faced some kind of prejudice when going to LGBT centers for services.

Some of the survey respondents said that they heard a lot of negative comments about bisexuals at GLBT centers and that “bisexuals are confused and not as good as real gays.”

The Equality Network encourages organizations to deal with biphobia, research bisexuality and ensure bisexual inclusion.

Mike Szymanski
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Mike Szymanski has written about bisexual issues since 1989 and has one of the longest-running regular bisexual columns as the National Bisexuality Examiner. He came out as bisexual in a cover story of Genre magazine, which resulted in more than 50 television appearances, including Ricki Lake, Phil Donahue Show and 20/20. Szymanski won the Lambda Literary Award in 2007 for co-authoring an informative humor book “The Bisexual’s Guide to the Universe: Quips, Tips and Lists for Those Who Go Both Ways.” Write him at [email protected]