Bisexual people often victims of violence; Situation not improving
Lesbian, gay, and bisexual people are still more likely to be victims of violence and related disrespectful behavior than heterosexuals. The Social and Cultural Planning Office (SCP) concluded this after research. While the situation for lesbian and gay people has improved over the past ten years, that of bisexual people has not, the institute said.
Bisexual women, in particular, run a greater risk than heterosexuals of becoming victims of, for example, sexual violence and harassment. Almost half of them had to deal with that last year. "The experiences are also more often long-lasting and most often have psychological, physical, or social consequences for their lives," the SCP said.
Bisexual people are also three times more likely to be psychologically unhealthy and more than twice as likely to suffer from depression as heterosexuals. The data comes from 2020, before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. One in three bisexual people said they have mental health problems, compared to one in nine heterosexuals. According to the SCP, lesbian and gay people are not psychologically unhealthier than heterosexuals. The SCP did not investigate the reason for the difference.
The researchers also did not look at the safety and well-being of transgender people. However, the SCP did mention their socio-economic position. Trans people are more likely not to have a job, have a lower income, have less wealth, and are less likely to own a house than no-trans people. The position of trans women, in particular, is “extra precarious,” the planning office said.
“It is important that the safety of people of diverse sexualities and genders improves,” the SCP said. The best place for this to happen is at school. “Sexual and gender diversity must be given more attention in the teaching materials. Not only in the form of explicit attention to the acceptance and inclusion of LBGTQIA+ people but also implicitly showing in teaching materials that a diverse and inclusive society is the norm.”
Interest organization Bi+ Nederland recognizes the difference in the experience of bisexual, gay, and lesbian people. “This research shows: LGBT+ people are not one group,” said Jantine van Lisdonk of the organization. According to her, the greater psychological vulnerability among bisexual people may be because they experience “double minority stress.” “You don’t mee the heterosexual norm, but you also don’t mee the monosexual norm: the expectation that you fall for one gender.” She also believes that bisexual people are stereotyped as “boundless” because they fall for multiple genders - and that they, therefore, are more likely to become victims of sexual violence. “We want better research into violence against bisexual people, especially their own experience.”
Reporting by ANP