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Bisexual women, more likely than bisexual men, to be depressed and abuse alcohol, new study finds
Date:11/8/2011

"They're not all troubled," she says of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. "They're not all high risk."

Discordance could be at the heart of the issue for bisexual women, Lindley says. "They're saying, 'I identify one way, but I behave in a different way and am attracted in another way,' " she says.

They may be more isolated and may not feel as if they have someone to talk with who understands what they are going through, she adds.

More young women than men reported that they were attracted to both sexes and that they were "mostly" straight or bisexual.

"Women are more likely to have sexual identities that fluctuate over time," Lindley says. "Whereas with men, it tends to be either 'I'm straight' or 'I'm gay.'"

Men didn't report feeling as depressed or stressed as women did. They also didn't binge-drink or smoke as much as bisexual women.

So why are men better off?

"I don't know is the honest answer," Lindley says. "Perhaps it's because men, if gay or straight, have a stronger connection to their community. Bisexual women may not feel as if there is a community for them."

Lindley and her co-authors Katrina M. Walsemann and Jarvis W. Carter Jr. of the University of South Carolina used a nationally representative sample of 14,412 people -- 7,696 women and 6,716 men -- in the survey. The survey first was given in 1994-95 when the respondents were enrolled in grades 7-12 and given again in 2007-08 when they were 24 to 32 years old.


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Contact: Michele McDonald
mmcdon15@gmu.edu
703-993-9511
George Mason University
Source:Eurekalert

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