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Journal of Bisexuality




Bisexual people are at an increased vulnerability for sexual victimization in comparison to heterosexual people, as well as gay and lesbian people. As the majority of first sexual violence experiences happen prior to age 25 for bisexual women, young bisexual people are particularly vulnerable. Despite consistent evidence of this health disparity, little is known about what factors might increase young bisexual people’s risk for sexual victimization, or how they access support post-victimization. The current study addresses this gap through a mixed-method investigation of young bisexual people’s experiences of sexual violence with a sample of 245 bisexual people age 18–25. Quantitative results indicate that bisexual stigma significantly predicts a greater likelihood of reporting an experience of sexual violence. Qualitative findings support that while not all participants felt bisexual stigma related to their experience of sexual violence, some felt negative bisexual stereotypes were substantial factors. Interview participants found connecting with other survivors, particularly LGBTQ + and bisexual survivors, to be beneficial. Some participants encountered barriers to accessing support, such as discrimination in schools. Sexual violence researchers should consider bisexual stigma as an important factor, and support services the potential positive impact of bisexual-specific survivor support.



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“This is an Accepted Manuscript version of the following article, accepted for publication in the Journal of Bisexuality.

Flanders, Corey E., et al. “Young Bisexual People’s Experiences of Sexual Violence: A Mixed-Methods Study.” Journal of Bisexuality, vol. 20, no. 2, Routledge, Apr. 2020, pp. 202–32. Taylor and Francis+NEJM, doi:10.1080/15299716.2020.1791300.

It is deposited under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

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