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Counseling Psychology News

UW’s Hoyt, alum Roberts noted in Huffington Post report on ‘Bisexual Invisibility’

March 03, 2016

The Huffington Post recently published an article headlined, “Bisexual Invisibility: The LGBT Community's Dirty Little Secret.”

And among the papers the blog post cites in an effort to put this hot-button topic in perspective is one co-authored by UW-Madison alumna Tangela Roberts, Professor Sharon Horne of the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and UW-Madison Professor William Hoyt.

Bisexuals -- people with no fixed preference for either same- or opposite-sex sexual partners -- are the “B” in LGBTQ. But bisexuals are a relatively understudied population in research on sexual orientation and gender identity.

William Hoyt
Hoyt
Hoyt, who chairs the School of Education’s Department of Counseling Psychology, explains that there has been a flurry of articles on this group lately, including evidence that their experiences of discrimination come from both the gay community and the straight community.

As the Huffington Post reports: “A few weeks ago, Alex Anders of the YouTube channel Bisexual Real Talk uploaded a video saying it was time for his fellow bisexuals to leave the LGBT community. He cites two studies recently published in the Journal of Bisexuality that link the lack of support for bisexuals in the community to bisexuals having worse mental health than any other LGBT group.”

The second of these two studies highlighted in the Huffington Post article is the one co-authored by Roberts, Horne and Hoyt that was published in December and is titled, “Between a Gay and a Straight Place: Bisexual Individuals’ Experiences with Monosexism.” Roberts earned her master’s degree from the Department of Counseling Psychology and today is a Ph.D. student whose advisor is Horne.

As the Huffington Post article explains:  “The two recent studies from the Journal of Bisexuality explore the correlation between this bisexual exclusion and poor mental health among bisexuals. …  The second study -- conducted by Tangela S. Roberts and Sharon G. Horne of the University of Massachusetts, and William T. Hoyt of the University of Madison-Wisconsin -- surveyed 745 bisexuals of a various ages, genders, and ethnicities (although 80 percent of the participants were white) to share their stories of experiencing biphobia. Although the bisexuals surveyed experienced more biphobia from straight people, they also experienced an alarming amount of biphobia from lesbians and gays.”

The Huffington Post adds: “As Roberts explained to the Daily Beast: "Essentially it's like saying that two people are yelling at you, but one voice is a decibel higher. Yes, statistically one voice is more significant, but the difference between the two voices is small.”

Check out the entire report for free on this Huffington Post web page.

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