Current intimate relationship characteristics, including gender and number of partner(s), may affect one’s visibility as a bisexual individual and the minority stressors they experience, which may in turn influence their health. The current study tested four hypotheses: 1) minority stressors vary by current intimate relationship status; 2) higher minority stressors are associated with higher depressive symptoms and alcohol-related outcomes; 3) depressive symptoms and alcohol-related outcomes vary by current intimate relationship status; and 4) minority stressors will mediate differences in these outcomes. Participants included 470 self-identified bisexual women (65 % Caucasian, mean age: 21) from a sample of sexual minority women recruited from different geographic regions in the United States through advertisements on social networking sites and Craigslist. Participants completed a 45 min survey. Respondents with single partners were first grouped by partner gender (male partner: n = 282; female partner: n = 56). Second, women were grouped by partner gender/number (single female/male partner: n = 338; women with multiple female and male partners: n = 132). Women with single male partners and women with multiple male and female partners exhibited elevated experienced bi-negativity and differences in outness (H1). Experienced and internalized bi-negativity were associated with health outcomes, but not outness (H2). Differences in outcomes emerged by partner number and partner number/gender (H3); these differences were mediated by experienced bi-negativity (H4). These results suggest that experiences of discrimination may underlie differences in health related to bisexual women’s relationship structure and highlight the importance of evaluating women’s relational context as well as sexual identification in understanding health risk behaviors.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 6, 2015
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