Young bisexual men are the least likely to be open about their sexuality among their peers, according to a new Australian survey.
The survey of 11,000 young people by radio station triple j suggested that gay men aged between 18 and 29 are more than twice as likely to have “come out” as their bisexual peers.
A similar percentage of bisexual women have come out (48 percent), just over half the number of lesbians (86 percent) who have done so.
The results also suggest that young women are twice as likely to come out as LGBTIQ than their male counterparts, with 89 per cent of male respondents identifying as straight.
Fifteen per cent of women identify as bisexual compared to 5 per cent of men.
One man who completed the survey said he identifies as bisexual but hasn’t come out to most of his family and friends.
“In the media, bisexuality is portrayed in women as quite a cool thing… but I think for men it detracts from their masculinity,” he told triple j’s Hack program.
“I think that if you’re a guy who is interested in other guys that somehow makes you less of your gender.
“It’s really stupid when you start to fathom it.”
One 20-year-old female told Hack she was among the two percent of female respondents to identify as pansexual and she found the questions on sexuality difficult to answer.
“I think sexuality is fluid and I just think ticking it in a box doesn’t work,” she said.
“I can’t sit here confidently and say I’m totally straight or I’m totally gay… I think if you get to know someone then gender doesn’t matter at all.”
Julia Taylor from the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society said that while more and more bisexual women were depicted in television and literature, there was a lack of male bisexual role models.
“If gay and lesbian people come out and things don’t go so well for them… they do have a big vocal community to find support and that’s something bisexual people don’t have,” she said.
“When you’re deciding something as difficult and personal as coming out, looking up to people who have lived through it is a really important thing … and when there’s no role models for bisexual men that’s a real hindrance to the coming out journey,” she said.
Data from the United States released last month found more people are identifying as bisexual or sexually fluid.
Twenty percent of those surveyed placed themselves somewhere on the spectrum between completely homosexual and completely heterosexual, up 5 percent from 2015.
(Photo by Peter Salanki/Flickr)