Bisexual women at higher risk of sexual abuse

A new report reveals that bisexual women experience sexual violence at an alarmingly higher rate than straight or lesbian women.

Half of bisexual women have been raped at one point while in the U.S., while 75% have experienced sexual violence, according to a recently published article in the Journal of Bisexuality.

In the report — “Why Us? Toward an Understanding of Bisexual Women’s Vulnerability for and Negative Consequences of Sexual Violence” — author Nicole Johnson, a counseling psychology professor at Lehigh University’s College of Education, outlines three contributing factors to why bi women are at higher risk.

Those factors include substance abuse, which bi women struggle with more than straight and lesbian women, according to Johnson’s research; hypersexualization, which is related to “the long history of depicting women as ‘bisexual’ while engaging in same sex behaviors for the men’s pleasure; and biphobic harassment and prejudice against bisexual people.

Further research is needed, but Johnson’s research adds to the ongoing and growing conversation about sexual abuse.

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