Eccles, Gregory David
The following research report is submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements necessary to obtain the degree of Masters in Community-Based Counselling Psychology in the Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg 2014. / Research focusing on sexual minority groups has historically focused almost exclusively on homosexuality, leaving a relative void in the body of work focusing on bisexuality. While prejudices towards homosexual minorities have been researched extensively, such research either excludes bisexuality, or incorporates it into homosexuality without considering differences between the concepts. This research paper looked to explore factors influencing negative attitudes regarding bisexuality, specifically incorporating familiar and less familiar research variables. Tolerance of ambiguity and social conservatism are both factors with well-established ties to homophobia. While their conceptual link to biphobia would seem obvious, only a limited number of studies have been conducted to connect these factors to attitudes regarding bisexuality, and thus further research examining this trend is warranted. In this study, an attempt was made to build upon the work of Hoang, Holloway, and Mendoza, (2011), who conducted a study examining the effect of bisexual identity congruence on attitudes regarding bisexuality. In addition to tolerance of ambiguity and social conservatism, bisexual identity congruence was also examined as a possible contributor towards attitudes regarding bisexuality. Conducting this examination in tandem with previously correlated values was hypothesized to provide an indication of the relative strength of the effect of bisexual identity congruence on attitudes regarding bisexuality. A survey of 133 mixed heterosexual and non-heterosexual students was conducted, making use of instruments to measure attitudes regarding bisexuality, sexual orientation facets, tolerance of ambiguity and social conservatism. These results were then analysed statistically through correlation and multiple linear regression. The findings of the study indicated a potential positive correlation between increased sexual identity incongruence and decreased biphobia, in contrast to the initially hypothesized opposite trend. Three specific areas of sexual identity congruence appeared to be most influential towards attitudes regarding bisexuality, namely incongruence between sexual identity and emotional preference, sexual behaviour and sexual fantasy. Tolerance of ambiguity and social conservatism both demonstrated significant but weak correlations with aspects of attitudes regarding bisexuality, in line with similar studies linking the two to homophobia and biphobia. Social conservatism was also shown to be the strongest independent contributor towards attitudes regarding bisexuality, with tolerance of ambiguity ranking thereafter. Beyond the original research questions, the data also seemed to demonstrate a tendency for people who have personal experiences with bisexuality to display less negative attitudes regarding bisexuality. Some indication of a racial difference in attitudes regarding bisexuality, as white students were shown to be statistically more likely to hold more positive attitudes towards bisexuality. / GR2017
Out of the Way and Out of Place: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of the Experiences of Social Interactions of Bisexually Attracted Young PeopleQuest, A. Del 26 September 2014 (has links)
Research addressing the concerns of bisexually attracted youth has markedly increased in the past few years, yet remains limited in comparison to that addressing the issues of lesbian and gay youth (Brewster & Moradi, 2010). Those few studies treating bisexual participants as distinct from lesbian and gay participants have findings indicating that some youth who identify as bisexual experience higher rates of depression, pregnancy, substance abuse, suicidal ideations, and suicide attempts compared to their lesbian and gay peers (Kennedy & Fisher, 2010; Lewis, Derlega, Brown, Rose, & Henson, 2009; Saewyc, Homma, Skay, Bearinger, Resnick, & Reis, 2009). Most commonly, however, research studies examine all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer participants as one group, and little is known about the ways in which these distinct groups differ. Biphobia, defined as the aversion felt toward bisexuality and bisexuals as a social group or as individuals, contributes to barriers in addressing this gap. The primary objective of this study was to gain an understanding of how the participants recalled their social interactions and how they made sense of them. In depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten young people who were bisexually attracted when they were of high school age. Results were analyzed and discussed using an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) approach. Analyses of these accounts revealed the ways these young people made sense of feeling dismissed, isolated, invisible, and unsafe in their environments and the ways they used their observations to control future interactions. The participants discussed their experiences with coming out to family members and friends and the strain of choosing to hide their attractions to more than one gender. These findings indicate the need for services offering specific supports and interventions for bisexually attracted youth. Social workers, youth workers, and educators can best serve this population by acknowledging the uniqueness of their experiences. Future research, focused on group specific concerns, could close the existing gap in the knowledge base.
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