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Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 43, Issue 6, pp 1165–1176 | Cite as

The Invisible Stereotypes of Bisexual Men

  • Alon ZivonyEmail author
  • Thalma Lobel
Original Paper

Abstract

Bisexual men have little public visibility, yet previous reports indicate that heterosexuals have specific prejudicial attitudes towards them. This article reports on two studies that examined the stereotypical beliefs of heterosexual men and women regarding bisexual men. In Study 1 (n = 88), we examined awareness of social stereotypes (stereotype knowledge). Most of the participants were unable to describe the various stereotypes of bisexual men. Contrary to previous studies, low-prejudiced participants had more stereotype knowledge than high-prejudiced participants. In Study 2 (n = 232), we examined prejudice in a contextual evaluation task that required no stereotype knowledge. Participants evaluated a single target character on a first date: a bisexual man dating a heterosexual woman, a bisexual man dating a gay man, a heterosexual man dating a heterosexual woman, or a gay man dating a gay man. The findings indicated that participants implemented stereotypical beliefs in their evaluation of bisexual men: compared to heterosexual and gay men, bisexual men were evaluated as more confused, untrustworthy, open to new experiences, as well as less inclined towards monogamous relationships and not as able to maintain a long-term relationship. Overall, the two studies suggest that the stereotypical beliefs regarding bisexual men are prevalent, but often not acknowledged as stereotypes. In addition, the implementation of stereotypes in the evaluations was shown to be dependent on the potential romantic partner of the target. Possible theoretical explanations and implications are discussed.

Keywords

Bisexuality Stereotypes Prejudice Sexual orientation 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank William Fisher and Dominique Lamy for their useful feedback on earlier versions of the article.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Psychological SciencesTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael

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