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School of Applied Social Sciences

SASS Staff

Publication details for Dr Mark McCormack

Anderson, E., McCormack, M. & Ripley, M. (2016). Sixth Form Girls and Bisexual Burden. Journal of Gender Studies 25(1): 24-34.

Author(s) from Durham


Much of the literature concerning sexual minorities describes various forms of social mistreatment, alongside the psychological ill effects of minority stress. However, bisexual individuals are often described as having additional burdens compared with other sexual minorities. We conceptualise the collective of these social problems as ‘bisexual burden’, and examine for it through the lived experiences of 15 openly bisexual girls (aged 16–17) from sixth form colleges throughout the UK. We show that, among this cohort, decreasing cultural stigma attached to sexual minorities results in participants being more accepted by their heterosexual and gay peers, compared to previous literature, mostly without the negative components of bisexual burden. We find that when mistreatment does occur, it does so immediately after she comes out; however, this diminishes quickly due to the cultural unacceptability of homo/biphobia in these settings.