We're Here and We're Queer: Sexual Orientation and Sexual Fluidity Differences Between Bisexual and Queer Women

Ethan H. Mereish, Sabra L. Katz-Wise, Julie Woulfe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Theorists and researchers have noted an overlap between individuals who are bisexually-identified and queer-identified. Although early definitions of bisexuality may have been predominantly binary (i.e., attracted to women and men), in recent years there has been a move toward a more “queer” understanding of bisexuality (e.g., attraction to more than one gender beyond women and men). The purpose of this study was to examine similarities and differences between adult women who were bisexually-identified and those who were queer-identified, ages 18 to 66 years, on sociodemographic characteristics, two dimensions of sexual orientation (sexual behaviors and attractions), fluidity in attractions and sexual orientation identity, and identity centrality and affirmation in an online sample (N = 489), which was mostly from the United States (73.5%). Results indicated that women who are bisexual and queer were similar in terms of sociodemographic characteristics, with the exception of education; women identifying as queer were more educated than women identifying as bisexual. Women identifying as queer were also more likely than women identifying as bisexual to report variability in their sexual behaviors and attractions and more fluidity in their sexual orientation identity. Additionally, women identifying as queer reported higher levels of identity centrality and affirmation than women identifying as bisexual. Considerations for sexual minority women's health research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-139
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Bisexuality
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017

Keywords

  • bisexual
  • identity affirmation
  • identity centrality
  • identity fluidity
  • queer
  • sexual attraction
  • sexual behavior
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Cultural Studies

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