Bisexuality and mental health: Wendy Bostwick

THE PROBLEM:

Compared with either heterosexual or lesbian women, bisexual women have been shown to be at the highest risk for depression and anxiety. Given the personal and societal costs associated with mental illness, it’s necessary to understand these disparities in order to design appropriate prevention and intervention programs.

THE RESEARCH:

Wendy Bostwick

Health disparities among sexual minorities have long been explained on the basis of excess stress experienced from being part of a marginalized and stigmatized group. Now Associate Professor Wendy Bostwick, PhD, MPH, is zeroing in on the evidence that subtle, bisexual-specific “microaggressions”—such as denial/dismissal of bisexuality, pressure to change, assumption of hypersexuality, and dating exclusion—are significant influences on mental health.