AirTalk for July 18, 2013

Bisexuals hesitant to let their Pride flag fly

Bisexual

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With the growing acceptance of gays and lesbians in the U.S., why are so many bisexuals hesitant to reveal their orientation?

With massive legal and political victories recently for gays and lesbians, American society seems much more accepting of homosexual orientation. Yet, while the queer pride movement was meant to advocate on behalf of myriad sexualities, one particular group is still very much "closeted," according to new research.

A Pew survey of LGBT Americans found only 28 percent of bisexuals had revealed the fact to important people in their life. That's compared to 77 percent of gay men and 71 percent of lesbians who said the important people in their life were aware of their orientation. "Furthermore, 65 percent of bisexual men say that only a few or none of the important people in their life know they are bisexual," the authors wrote.

What makes the survey results especially surprising are the population numbers for bisexuals. A 2011 survey by UCLA's Williams Institute found of the 3.5 percent of American adults are gay, lesbian, or bisexual - fully 1.8 percent of those American adults identify as bisexual.

With further social recognition of homosexuality, will bisexuals gain more acceptance?

Guests:

Allen Rosenthal, senior research at the human sexuality lab at Northwestern University. He is lead author on a 2011 study on bisexual men that was widely covered in the press

Denise Penn, a director at The American Institute of Bisexuality and a clinical social worker in Orange County

 


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