Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 45, Issue 6, pp 1535–1550 | Cite as

Conservative Beliefs, Attitudes Toward Bisexuality, and Willingness to Engage in Romantic and Sexual Activities With a Bisexual Partner

  • Brian A. FeinsteinEmail author
  • Christina Dyar
  • Vickie Bhatia
  • Jessica A. Latack
  • Joanne Davila
Original Paper


Negative attitudes toward bisexuals have been documented among heterosexuals as well as lesbians/gay men, and a common theme is that bisexuals would not be suitable romantic or sexual partners. While gender, sexual orientation, and attitudes toward bisexuality influence people’s willingness to engage in romantic or sexual activities with a bisexual partner, there are other individual differences that may contribute. The current study examined the associations between four types of conservative beliefs and willingness to engage in romantic/sexual activities with a bisexual partner in a sample of heterosexuals and lesbians/gay men (N = 438). Attitudes toward bisexuality were examined as a mediator of these associations. In general, results indicated that higher social dominance orientation, political conservatism, and essentialist beliefs about the discreteness of homosexuality were associated with lower willingness to engage in romantic/sexual activities with a bisexual partner. Further, more negative attitudes toward bisexuality mediated these associations. There were several meaningful differences in these associations between heterosexual women, heterosexual men, lesbian women, and gay men, suggesting that influences on people’s willingness to be romantically or sexually involved with a bisexual partner may differ for different gender and sexual orientation groups. Implications for reducing stigma and discrimination against bisexual individuals are addressed.


Bisexuality Romantic Sexual behavior Dating Conservative beliefs 



This material is based upon work supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship awarded to Brian A. Feinstein (Grant No. 1315232). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian A. Feinstein
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christina Dyar
    • 2
  • Vickie Bhatia
    • 2
  • Jessica A. Latack
    • 2
  • Joanne Davila
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Medical Social Sciences, Feinberg School of MedicineNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyStony Brook UniversityStony BrookUSA

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