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What Do We Now Know About Bisexual Parenting? A Continuing Call for Research

Abstract

Relatively little is known about the unique experiences of bisexual parents, but research on this topic has expanded in recent years. This chapter reviews 36 peer-reviewed articles relevant to bisexual parents (defined broadly), highlighting key findings and future directions for the field. The literature is conceptualized across seven major themes: identity management, paths to parenthood, relationship issues, stigma, parenting issues, health outcomes, and intersections between bisexuality and other socially significant identities. This review illuminates some of the unique experiences and concerns of bisexual parents. For example, many bisexual parents appear to be in different-gender partnerships or single, experience stigma from both heterosexual and sexual minority communities, report higher psychological distress than parents of other sexual identities, and may find the knowledge and experiences associated with their bisexuality to be resources when discussing gender and sexuality with children. Current research is limited in that it has focused predominantly on cisgender bisexual women in Western countries. Important future directions will be exploring the experiences of bisexual fathers and nonbinary bisexual parents, bisexual parents of color, bisexual parents in other cultural contexts, and understudied topics such as single bisexual parent experiences and bisexual parents’ physical health.

Keywords

  • Bisexual
  • Bisexual parents
  • LGBTQ
  • LGBTQ families
  • Nonmonosexual
  • Plurisexual

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Acknowledgments

The authors wish to acknowledge the contributions of Cheryl Dobinson to the earlier edition of this chapter.

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Correspondence to Melissa H. Manley .

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Manley, M.H., Ross, L.E. (2020). What Do We Now Know About Bisexual Parenting? A Continuing Call for Research. In: Goldberg, A., Allen, K. (eds) LGBTQ-Parent Families. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-35610-1_4

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