Many of these misconceptions, stereotypes and myths may also be applied to other polysexuals but usually have a bisexual emphasis.
“Everyone is bisexual or even just a little.”
This is half right, a majority of people have some fluidity with their sexuality (ie. Kinsey Scale). However, there are plenty of people who are strictly bisexual, homosexual, heterosexual, etc. To say they are bisexual is insulting towards their identity and robs them of the ability to identify themselves.
How you identify is an individual’s right, not those around them or society.
“Women only identify as bisexual to turn heterosexual men on.”
This is a stereotype like saying that all people with hoodies are going to rob you. The only assumption that you can make of a woman who identifies as bisexual is that she is likely attracted to more than 1 gender. It is a possibility that she identifies as bisexual yet does not have sexual or romantic feelings towards more than one gender of people but to assume every woman is identifying like this for heterosexual men is insulting to bisexual women. Most people don’t hold up the same standard for gamers. You must admit that there is a possibility that a person is claiming to be a gamer but in reality isn’t. However, to say that all gamers are just lying to be popular with other gamers in the area is a gross generalization which definitely doesn’t apply to everyone.
“Bisexual is just a fad.”
Bisexual was coined in 1892 by Charles Gilbert. However, knowledge of bisexuality entered into the mainstream during the 1970s after “Bisexual Chic” was printed by Times Magazine and Newsweek.
“After a brief vogue during the sexual revolution — “Bisexual Chic: Anyone Goes,” chortled NEWSWEEK in 1974–it moved back underground in the 1980s, pushed by fears of AIDS and by gay identity politics. Nobody knows how many bisexuals there are in the country, or just how bisexuality should be defined” ~Newsweek (“Bisexuality”)
If bisexual was “just a fad,” it’s unlikely that it would have such a long running history and visibility in mainstream media.
“Men can’t be bisexual.”
A person’s gender does not determine what sexuality that person can identify as or be categorized as. While heterosexual and homosexual take into account the gender and binary of the identifying person, bisexual and some monosexualities (androsexual, gynesexual) do imply the gender of the identifier or person who is categorized. Heterosexual (straight) and homosexual (lesbian/gay) are the only mainstream terms that imply the specific gender of the identifier.
“Bisexuals are attracted to men and women equally, 50-50.”
First, that only refers to a population of bisexuals. Some bisexuals experience attraction exclusively to men and women while also having equal attraction to both of them. However, there are many bisexuals on planet Earth and it’s unlikely that every sexuality is the same so to say that all bisexuals have this 50-50 attraction, is a gross generalization that no one can prove as well.
Second, there is not only 2 genders. Bisexuals can be attracted to men and agender people. They can be attracted to women and genderqueer people. Bisexual isn’t even limited to an attraction to 2 genders. In social contexts, bisexual usually means an attraction to 2 or more genders or more than one gender despite “bi-” meaning 2.
“Bisexuals are hypersexual.”
Sexual attraction and behavior are two different things. Your sexual attraction does not determine your behavior having to do with sexual activity. There are many factors that contribute to a person’s sexual activity or likely to have sexual activity such as a libido, sex positive attitude, a reason, etc. The mere fact that a person is attracted to more than one gender of persons doesn’t make them more likely to be hypersexual or engage in more sexual activity.
“You can’t be bisexual unless you’ve been in a relationship with both a man and a woman.”
This certainly is the double standard. Of course, bisexual individuals have to have the record to prove their bisexuality while heterosexuals and many homosexuals merely have to have the attraction to the particular gender for their identity to be validated.
Second point, a person’s experience with relationships of the romantic, sexual, etc. kind does not prove or disprove their bisexuality. If we use the strict definition of bisexual, then as long as you feel an attraction to those of 2 or more genders: you are bisexual. Bisexuality is not predicated on your relationships but on your attraction.
In addition, this leaves out if a person dated several people of different non-binary genders.
Newsweek Staff. “Bisexuality.” Newsweek. Newsweek.com, 16 July 1995. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
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