Normative monosexism, biphobia, and the experience of bisexual women: A content analysis of an online community




Sweeney, Syreeta J.

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This study examines life experiences of bisexual women as conveyed through the shared narratives between bisexual, homosexual, and heterosexual women in an online community with a large internet presence. I employed the Queer Theory perspective to build a framework for the research and employed a triangulated method of content analysis and survey data. Using non-intrusive methods, I analyzed and coded 2055 statements submitted to an online website regarding bisexual women and bisexuality into one or more of ten (10) different categories which include "Denial of Sexuality," "Transitional Identity," Invisibility or "Bi-Erasure.," "Performing Bisexuality," "Discrimination," "Moral Judgment," "Sexual/Emotional Promiscuity," "Sexual Irresponsibility," "Personally/Politically Disloyal," and Trustworthiness". In addition, I analyzed and coded 1722 survey responses generated from 41 non-bisexual survey respondents into similar categories in order to compare data sets. This was done in order to compare data sets and discover similarities and differences between two distinct populations (online community members and unaffiliated offline individuals).

Content analysis results showed that 53% of the sampled discussion threads contained expressions of biphobia or normative monosexism and 22% of the analyzed discussion board statements within each thread contained expressions of the same. Themes with the highest number of ratings were (in order of frequency from highest to lowest): "Denial of Bisexuality," "Sexual/Emotional Promiscuity," "Transitional Identity," and "Discrimination. Content analysis results are discussed and compared with collected survey data. Similar results were found with the survey, only "Personally/Politically Disloyal" displaced "Sexual/Emotional Promiscuity". Key results and implications are discussed.


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biphobia, bisexual, content analysis, discussion board, monosexism, queer theory