141st APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

In This section

293050
"not a legitimate sexual orientation": Attitudes toward bisexual men and women as a risk factor for HIV/AIDS

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 3:00 PM - 3:15 PM

Brian Dodge, PhD , Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University-Bloomington, Bloomington, IN
Mackey Friedman, PhD, MPH , Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Vanessa Schick, PhD , Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Gabriel Goncalves, BS , Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University-Bloomington, Bloomington, IN
Debby Herbenick, PhD, MPH , Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Randolph D. Hubach, MPH , Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Michael Reece, PhD , Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
INTRODUCTION: Findings from previous sociological studies suggest that bisexual men and women face prejudice, stigma, and discrimination from both heterosexual and homosexual individuals. While established relationships between minority stress and HIV/STI risk behavior, particularly among individuals who face multiple layers of stigma, there is a lack of valid and reliable measures for assessing attitudes toward bisexual men and women. As yet, valid and reliable scales have not been developed to wholistically assess attitudes toward bisexual individuals (including potential relationships with individual characteristics such as age, gender, sexual orientation, etc.). METHODS: The study was conducted in two distinct phases of item elcitation and scale development. Initially, 300 adult university students provided words that come to mind in relation to bisexual men and women. Based on this, researchers developed a 33-item scale which was administered to a purposeful online sample of 1500 adults from a wide range of social networking websites. RESULTS: Overall, both heterosexual- and gay-identified participants were generally negative in terms of their attitudes toward bisexual men and women. In addition to determining validity and reliability, factoral analyses were used to determine the most salient items to be included in brief version of the scale, to be tested in a large probability sample of adults in a subsequent study. DISCUSSION: This study yields yields valuable data to be used for informing social awareness and intervention efforts aimed toward decreasing negative attitudes toward bisexual men and women in both heterosexual and homosexual communities.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the complexity of sexual identity, Discuss the unique issues faced by self-identified and behaviorally bisexual men and women, Identify negative attitudes toward bisexual men and women from both homosexual and heterosexual individuals a driving force for HIV risk

Keywords: Bisexual, Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a member of the HIV/AIDS section and a co-author on a study conducted by the current HIV/AIDS section chair.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 4318.0: HIV and sexual identity