Bisexual invisibility and fluidity

I have sent this as a poster proposition to the Journée de la recherche de l’UQTR.

what do you think?

Sexual orientation can be understood through three dimensions. A person is defined as being either heterosexual, homosexual , or bisexual if they have according behaviors, attractions and self-identification . Litterature usually implies that monosexuality is the norm,it  is understood in the literature as the binary nature of orientation, and gender identities. It ignores the possibility of a continuum, or other options outside the binary (Falek, 2013). The literature focusing on bisexuality is less extensive. Bisexuality does not work very well in a monosexual framework. Bisexuality implies an incongruence between behavior and identity when the bisexual individual only has one partner (Mint, 2004). Litterature also usually finds that bisexuality suffers from an invisibility in the media, the measures that melts that orientation within the “minority”, implying that the struggles that bisexuals and homosexuals go through are the same (Barker, & Langdridge, 2008) . One of the reasons bisexuality is so invisible is that the orientation itself is hard to define in terms of behavior, identification, or attractions (Barker, Richards, & Bowes-Catton, 2009). Bisexuality seems to bring forward the question of the fluidity of our orientations. It brings into the definition a fourth dimension: Time. Is what we are influenced by what we were? Although this notion is not new, Ericson being one of the first to bring forth the idea that we tend to try to have a continuity in our identities (Dunkel, 2005; Erikson, 1968), time in orientation is a rather revolutionary notion. It tends to break the understanding we have of orientation as fixed part of our identity. And therefore, it leaves some room for the queer suggestion that categories could be limitative (Sullivan, 2003). This notion is in line with the Lifespan theory (Dunkel, & Sefcek, 2009). The Lifespan Theory gives a good framework for understanding orientation as being a changeable fluid phenomenon, that can move over a lifetime. The term Sexual fluidity arose to answer such questions, but it is still not defined with a consensus. The main author on the subject, Lisa Diamond, covers a big part of the notion with her research and reviews, but it seems that other terms have come up to try to answer the same questions. Within the same terms, several explanations, and definitions seem to appear and the literature may appear slightly scattered. In order to advance the field and get a wide view of what has been done on the subject, to answer the questions mentioned earlier, we will try with this review to summarize the position scholars have taken on sexual fluidity.

 

 

Barker, M., & Langdridge, D. (2008). II. Bisexuality: Working with a silenced sexuality. Feminism & Psychology, 18(3), 389-394.

 

Barker, M., Richards, C., & Bowes-Catton, H. (2009). “All the world is queer save thee and me…”: Defining queer and bi at a Critical Sexology seminar. Journal of Bisexuality, 9(3-4), 363-379.

 

Dunkel, C. S. (2005). The relation between self-continuity and measures of identity. Identity, 5(1), 21-34.

 

Dunkel, C. S., & Sefcek, J. A. (2009). Eriksonian lifespan theory and life history theory: An integration using the example of identity formation. Review of General Psychology, 13(1), 13.

 

Erikson, E. H. (1968). Identity: Youth and crisis (No. 7). WW Norton & Company.

 

Mint, P. (2004). The power dynamics of cheating: Effects on polyamory and bisexuality. Journal of Bisexuality, 4(3-4), 55-76.

 

Sullivan, N. (2003). A critical introduction to queer theory. NYU Press.

 

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