Towards bi-inclusive policies: suggestions based on research on Dutch same-sex attracted young people

J. van Lisdonk, S. Keuzenkamp

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Dutch national LGBT policies are not bi-inclusive and this study provides suggestions for improvement, based on empirical research. Attention for bisexuality in policy appears simply to pay lip service and to endorse the construction of sexual orientation as a hetero/homo binary. The outcomes of our survey (n = 1449) and in-depth interviews (n = 38) of Dutch same-sex attracted young people suggest that special attention for bisexual people is warranted. Compared to exclusively same-sex attracted participants, the equally both-sex attracted participants scored worse on openness about their sexual attraction, visibility discomfort, perceived acceptance, and suicide attempts. Unique issues for bisexual-identified young people were identified as follows: marginalization of bisexuality; difficulty expressing bisexuality, particularly in relationships; and a lack of bisexual or bi-inclusive communities. These issues were all related to the hetero/homo binary and mononormativity. Suggested implications for more bi-inclusive policies focus on awareness of marginalization and invisibility of bisexuality, biphobia, community and capacity building, and comprehensive sexuality and gender education. Furthermore, rather than policies focusing on sameness, a comprehensive diversity perspective on sexuality and gender offers more space for bisexuality. This may be particularly relevant for young people who are exploring their sexuality and developing a sense of their sexual self.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-222
Number of pages17
JournalSexuality Research and Social Policy
Volume14
Issue number2
Early online date18 Jul 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Towards bi-inclusive policies: suggestions based on research on Dutch same-sex attracted young people'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this