Why Bisexual Women Are at a Higher Risk for Violence

Monday, December 23, 2019 - 11:00am

A psychology professor at Lehigh University, Nicole Johnson was researching sexual violence victimization when she noticed a trend: bisexual women experience more harm. Drawing on her own experience as a queer woman, Johnson knew better than to dismiss this as random. “Maybe that’s something we should pay attention to,” she said. In a recently published paper, she argues that three factors make bi women more likely to be abused. First, cultural stereotypes portray bisexual women as constantly sexually available, regardless of consent. Second, high rates of substance use across the LGBTQ community leave bisexual women vulnerable to violence. Finally, biphobic harassment ups the risk. Harmful stereotypes about bisexuality are also a stressor, Johnson found.