New UK bisexuality research

Caroline Harvey explains her new study:

Learning To Get Bi? Analysing Postmodern, Poststructuralist, Queer Theoretical, and Sexual Geographical Perspectives on the Construction of ‘Bisexuality’ and ‘Bisexual’ Sexual Identity. 

How is Bisexual Identity and ‘Reality’ Constructed Within the Straight/Gay Binary of the Modern Western World?”

Basically I’m attempting to analyse and construct a ‘basic’ understanding of how bisexual men and women are able to formulate and be confident and comfortable in their bisexuality when the majority of the Western world and subsequent policy, legislation and even general ‘common-sense’ understandings of sexuality tend to be very much dominated by and regulated within the binary of straight/gay and lesbian identity. Hopefully this work will highlight the impact of biphobia, bi-invisibility and the very real ignorance and avoidance that bisexual people encounter on a regular basis. The usual stereotypes which can be evidenced by both hetero-/homosexual communities can often be over looked or seen as acceptable in many sectors of society, and therefore this work intends to challenge and question why this is acceptable.

The dangerous and damaging consequences of biphobia and bisexual ‘avoidance’ cannot be ignored and the fact that despite Western society insists and promotes the gay/straight dichotomy, bisexual men and woman continue to live their lives as such, being proud and comfortable in doing so and I would asset proves that rather than (as at present) being deemed as an afterthought, bisexuality, queer identity, gender fluidity, gender fucking, pan sexuality, omnisexuality and any other of the myriad of explanations and representations that individuals choose to describe themselves as thus therefore needing to be awarded their proper and deserved place in society.

One point I find especially pertinent is that until 1967 ‘homosexual acts’ between 2 men was deemed illegal, whilst in 2005 civil partnerships between same sex couples came into force. Bisexuality seems to be in a similar position; whilst not criminally illegal or legislated against (although ostensibly morally so) how long will it take for bisexual identity to gain its rightful acceptance in society.

I am also aiming to use the blogs of bi men and women in order to gain insight into and trace if/when changes and transitions in attitudes occur and so if anyone knows of something/someone which could be of use in my research I would be extremely grateful and they can contact me on: caroline.harvey@research.sunderland.ac.uk

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