Saturday, December 14, 2019

Psychological Effects of Bisexuality Free Essays

What is bisexuality? Synthesizing the predominant theories of bisexuality, Smiley (1997) suggested the following definition: Bisexuality is a sexual orientation in which an individual: experiences a combination of sexual and affectional attractions to members of both sexes; engages to varying degrees in sexual activities with both sexes; and self-identifies as bisexual in a way that is consonant with personal, social, political, and lifestyle preferences (Smiley, 375). Bisexual and the transgender people are two less visible segments of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. According to the authoritative Kinsey Report, which compiles data on human sexuality, almost eight in 10 people have some characteristics of bisexuality, wherein an individual feels attracted to both sexes (Klien, 13). We will write a custom essay sample on Psychological Effects of Bisexuality or any similar topic only for you Order Now However, bisexuals have to confront not just the homophobia of the straight community, which brands them as promiscuous, even though most are in strictly monogamous relationships, they also face derision from the gay community, which considers them closet gays, hiding behind the veneer of bisexuality because they are afraid to come out. Not surprisingly, therefore, that a recent study by the Australian National University found that bisexuals â€Å"had the worst mental health on measures of anxiety, depression and suicidality (Hall, 28). Tommy (name changed) Hogan, who came to Los Angeles, California nearly two years ago for graduate studies in Health Administration and works for Watts Health Foundation, says in adolescence he found himself being attracted to both boys and girls. In the gender-segregated society we lived in, opportunities for `fooling around’ were much more readily available with peers of the same sex. I thought everyone in my circle was like me. So when I came to the Los Angeles it was very surprising to find that there were some individuals who were not attracted to men and others who were not attracted to women† (T. Hogan, personal communication, October 26, 2002). He wouldn’t say he was gay. He would only say that he was sleeping with other men. He liked to call it â€Å"M-S-M,† men sleeping with men, you know, Brothers on the down low. I called it being a bisexual. The first thing that Tommy made clear to me is that bisexuality does not describe one sort of behavior, but rather a whole range of behaviors and lifestyles. Talking openly about sexual orientation within as private a community as the African American community is something that is not often done. Tommy revealed his disappointment at the community’s lack of acceptance of non-traditional lifestyles. According to a generally agreed upon definition, it isn’t necessary for a person to be equally attracted to men and women and to be involved in multiple relationships, to be bisexual. In fact, a person can be celibate and still be bisexual. It’s all a matter of whom he or she finds attractive and how he or she identifies himself or herself. There is no behavioral â€Å"test† to determine whether or not one is bisexual. Bisexuals come in all shapes and sizes, from all occupations, and with all levels of educational, racial and cultural background. When Tommy told his father of his attraction to both men and women, his father simply said that though these desires were natural and most people had them, eventually he expects Tommy to get married and have a family. â€Å"Even though his message was that it was preferable to get married to a woman, I was struck by his statement that same-sex feelings were natural, and by the fact that he didn’t put same-sex desire down by calling it a perversion or sin† (T. Hogan, personal communication, October 26, 2002). Hogan says, â€Å"People have this misconception that bisexuals are promiscuous. I have been in strictly monogamous relationships and most of us are perfectly content with that. If people have made up their mind something is abnormal they can come up with as many reasons as to why it is so, and if there are people who think otherwise, they too can come up with a variety of reasons to prove their point. Why can’t we approach this from a humanistic viewpoint that people have the right to love whomsoever they want to, as long as it is consensual? Tommy is very content with the bisexual lifestyle he is living. He seems to not know whether or not he will always be this way. I got a sense from our interview that he wasn’t happy being this way. He begin the express the importance of how being very religious he could not live this type of lifestyle. I would have to agree that the Bible does speak against any type of homosexual behavior. Tommy and I have discussed this issue on more than one occasion. He seems to be confused as to what he really wants. It is a battle for him to be with a woman and be attracted to a man that is in the same company. Tommy at the present lives by himself so he doesn’t feel as if there are any rules he has to live with. He currently resides in the Hollywood area. He is comfortable living this lifestyle and his community contributes to this. Tommy has many friends and he also dates several women. Many individuals do not know that he is bisexual. Individuals might suspect that Tommy is bisexual but they have no confirmation. I am a close friend to Tommy and I actually have had the pleasure of knowing him for two years. I also might add that I have been attracted to Tommy for these two years and have dated him. I do accept his lifestyle as being bisexual because I care about him. But, I choose not to be in a relationship with Tommy because I do not want to risk my life or my health. We have an open and honest relationship so he understands that I have feelings for him but I in know way want to proceed with a relationship. But, if he chooses not to participate in this lifestyle in the future I just might end up being with him. But as one of his friends along with the others, he is accepted and is treated no differently than the next person. Tommy always feels comfortable in talking with me about his sexuality. He seems to be at this point in his life trying to deal with issues in the past that he feels might have led him to being attracted to both women and men. He has never mentioned to me about anything that stemmed from his past that might have triggered this imbalance in sexuality. I personally accept anyone who chooses to live a gay, lesbian or bisexual lifestyle. However, I do not condone dishonesty in sexual relationships with partners who have no knowledge of each other’s sexuality. It is really hard to discuss the responses of others, many individuals just do not know. Tommy is a very nice looking young man and is very professional and classy. He has all the traits that women are seeking in this young adult age. I believe that if women knew of his lifestyle as a bisexual they might not be as interested in him as before. As I mentioned many people question his sexuality but he has encountered no prejudice against him in that regard. Tommy indicates that it wasn’t until he came to Los Angeles that he decided to practice his lifestyle as a bisexual. Los Angeles makes it a lot easier to be bisexual, gay or a lesbian and be accepted in society. He feels most comfortable here and being able to go out in public with another man. He felt as though when he lived with his family he could not practice bisexuality. He never carried out sexual relationships with men until he came to Los Angeles. The sexuality of Black males as well as females is enmeshed with racial stereotyping thus the issues of gays and bisexual blacks is a particularly sensitive one so far as the Black community is concerned. The notion is that bisexuals are confused, promiscuous and greedy. To me promiscuity is really an oxymoron. It’s down to the individual needs and requirement of that person. I will never have an issue with anyone who chooses to be bisexual but in these days it is just unsafe to be with someone who is bisexual because AIDS is so prevalent and many individuals are just not honest with their sexual orientation. How to cite Psychological Effects of Bisexuality, Essay examples

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