Bisexuality may not just be a phase

By Megan Arii-Heger

According to a recent study, bisexuality among young women may
be a distinct orientation, not just a phase.

Lisa Diamond, a professor of psychology and gender studies at
the University of Utah, surveyed 79 women ages 18 to 25, all of
whom identified their sexual orientation as lesbian, bisexual or
unlabeled.

Diamond interviewed the subjects five times over a 10-year
period and found that bisexuals and unlabeled women tended to
switch between the two titles. Of those interviewed, less than 10
percent switched back to heterosexual.

“I think [bisexuality is] a way to find out which gender you
really do prefer,” said Elyzea Dones, a first-year kinesiology
student.

Although limited to only a select age group, bisexuality isn’t
expected to be out-grown.

“If it was a phase, it should have burnt out,” Diamond says.
“They might have a change in identity and relationships, but that
pattern of non-exclusive desire is still there, even among those
who have married. It debunks the notion of it being a phase.”

Social networking Web sites are one idea why bisexuality has a
growing presence.

“Bisexuality is a more prevalent thing nowadays because of
MySpace and Facebook,” said Danny Woolston, a second-year
mechanical engineering student. “Today’s youth have been able to
realize that it’s not just experimentation, as we have been the
ones to take this head on.”

Society has established two distinct sexual orientations of
either homosexuality or heterosexuality, but bisexuality poses an
orientation for the gray area in between.

“Most people in sexuality studies note that while a few people
are probably born exclusively straight or gay, most of us are
somewhere on a continuum between. Instead, culture pushes us toward
one orientation,” said Faye Wachs, a sociology professor.
“[Interest in women’s sexual orientation has] been around for
awhile. The difference is whose voices are allowed into the
dialogue.

“I think it’s great that instead of trying to ‘fix’ women who
don’t conform to societal expectations, or to dismiss a way of
being as a phase, that their voices can now be heard.”

Some students are skeptical that bisexuality will ever be
considered as a distinct orientation.

“I think [the study] will be accepted by some but not by all –
all being those who don’t accept homosexuality, period,” said Brady
Myers, a second-year aerospace engineering student.

In addition to proving bisexuality is more than mere
experimentation, Diamond also broke some stereotypes that correlate
with bisexuality; one is that bisexual women are unable to be in a
monogamous relationship due to their constant desires to date the
other gender.

Bisexuality may not just be a phase

Infographic by Lucio Villa

Bisexuality may not just be a phase

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