Bisexuality research guidelines – out now!
The research guidelines which BiUK wrote for people writing about and studying bisexuality have now been published in an article in the Journal of Bisexuality.
The authors are a group of researchers and writers who work on bisexuality, organize bisexual research conferences, and take part in discussions on many bisexual and lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ) academic forums. The authors have noticed, over the years, many problematic tendencies in research that focuses on, or includes, bisexuals. The authors therefore felt that it would be useful to come up with a list of ‘good practice’ guidelines for people researching and writing in this area. These should be particularly useful to those new to the area when they send out their calls for participants, to avoid alienating those participants or finding themselves ‘reinventing the wheel’ with their studies. Hopefully, the guidelines will also be helpful for experienced researchers to reflect on their research practices.
The paper is followed by a great piece by Sari van Anders who took the idea of the guidelines and applied it to researchers who work in bioscience laboratory settings.
Bisexuality is studied within the biological sciences, in fields like neuroscience, biopsychology, evolution and biomedicine, yet these fields typically do not train researchers to consider the social locations of their participants. However, bisexuality is a marginalized sexuality, and minorities and researchers have increasingly called for scientific research to attend to issues around power and social identity. This article provides a set of guidelines written by a bioscientist for bioscientists, to help delineate and address potential issues when studying bisexuality.
The original guidelines are mainly aimed at a social science/psychology audience. A couple of BiUK people have just finished adapting the guidelines for humanities scholars and we will publish their set of guidelines soon. We hope that people find the guidelines helpful.