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The Experiential, Sexual, and Clinical Dimensions of Female Bisexuality in Canada: What are the Implications of Being In-between Monosexualities?

Title:

The Experiential, Sexual, and Clinical Dimensions of Female Bisexuality in Canada: What are the Implications of Being In-between Monosexualities?

Persson, Tonje Jeanette (2014) The Experiential, Sexual, and Clinical Dimensions of Female Bisexuality in Canada: What are the Implications of Being In-between Monosexualities? PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Female bisexuality has been understudied and it is unclear how it is most adequately defined. Although it has been found bisexual women face mental health disparities compared to lesbian and heterosexual women, there is a lack of research examining risk and resilience factors.
This dissertation sheds light on why female bisexuality has been understudied and provides findings relevant to bisexual women’s sexuality and mental health. Manuscript I, a review, suggests that an “imposed invisibility” of female bisexuality is related to the simplicity of using dichotomous sexual orientation categories, the gay movement’s desire to establish homosexuality as constitutional, feminist lesbians’ fight against patriarchy, and queer theorists’
neglect of including bisexuality in their discourse. Manuscripts II to IV include data, collected over a three-year period, from a confidential online survey including 388 women living in Canada (188 heterosexual, 53 mostly heterosexual, 64 bisexual, 32 mostly lesbian, 51 lesbian). The survey included questions about demographics, substance abuse, childhood abuse, sexual
orientation/ identity/behaviour, sexual/romantic/emotional attractions, sexual
arousal/desire/orgasm, and symptoms of depression and anxiety. Manuscript II compared the sexual and emotional characteristics of bisexual, lesbian, and heterosexual women and provides suggestions about how to define female bisexuality. Manuscript III compared subjective ratings of sexual arousal and desire in partnered sexual activities for women of five sexual orientation
groups. Findings indicate non-monosexual women have higher sexual arousal and desire in sexual activities with women than monosexual women, and that bisexual women do not differentiate their sexual arousal with men versus women while the other sexual orientation groups differentiate in terms of their motivation to engage in sexual activity. Manuscript IV investigated whether the association between sexual orientation and mental health is moderated
by childhood abuse, and mediated by risky sexual behaviour and sexual orientation disclosure for monosexual versus non-monosexual women. Findings suggest childhood abuse is not a moderator but that increased risky sexual behaviour and decreased sexual orientation disclosure mediate the association for bisexual women. Results of this dissertation have implications for the measurement of female bisexuality, the conceptualization of female sexual orientation, and the identification of risk factors associated with bisexual women’s mental health.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Persson, Tonje Jeanette
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Psychology
Date:September 2014
Thesis Supervisor(s):Pfaus, James G. and Ryder, Andrew G.
ID Code:979189
Deposited By: TONJE JEANETTE PERSSON
Deposited On:28 Oct 2015 12:50
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:48
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