Sexual harassment and sexual violence are pervasive problems for women – more recently highlighted by the #MeToo movement – but a more recent study uncovered that bisexual women actually specifically experience sexual violence more often than straight and lesbian women.
In “Why Us? Toward an Understanding of Bisexual Women’s Vulnerability for and Negative Consequences of Sexual Violence”, published in the Journal of Bisexuality, Nicole L. Johnson et al found that 50% of bisexual women experienced rape at one point of their lifetime, and – at least in the US – approximately 75% report experiencing sexual violence.
The researchers drew from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s ecological model of sexual violence and multiple fields of research, mapping the potential origins and explanations of these risks by connecting the sexual violence literature with research into heteronormativity and homo/biphobia, studies of intimate partner violence, cultural analyses of media representation of women’s sexuality, and contemporary understandings of trauma following sexual violence victimization.
The research found three factors as the main contributors for this: substance use, hypersexualization, and biphobic harassment.
On the substance use by bi women (said to be higher not only when compared with straight women, but also more than lesbians), this type of intoxication “may make victims easy targets for perpetrators and further contributes to negative mental health outcomes in the wake of sexual violence,” the research stated.
Bi erasure is among those that hinder similar data gathering in the Philippines, since unfortunately, here, the available figures do NOT segregate the SOGIE of the persons who reported sexual violations.