Not Straight Enough, nor Queer Enough: Identity Denial, Stigmatization, and Negative Affect Among Bisexual and Pansexual People [post]

Cynthia Thöni, Léïla Eisner, Tabea Hässler
2022 unpublished
People who are attracted to multiple sexes and/or genders, such as bisexual or pansexual people, report worse mental health than people who are attracted to one sex and/or gender. One contributing factor might be the denial of their sexual orientation (i.e., identity denial). In a sample of bisexual and pansexual people (N = 610), the present preregistered study aims to identify how 1) identity denial (i.e., people questioning or threatening bisexual and pansexual identity), 2)
more » ... (i.e., bisexual and pansexual people's beliefs that others reject their identity as a stable and legitimate identity) and 3) meta-stereotypes (i.e., bisexual and pansexual people's beliefs about stereotypes that others hold about them) are associated with negative affect and whether anticipated rejection might mediate these processes. Further, the present study uses differences between experienced identity denial by heterosexual (Study 1a) vs. homosexual (Study 1b) people as a lens of understanding identity denial processes. Results revealed the precarious situation of bisexual and pansexual people: More frequent experiences of perceived identity denial and higher meta-illegitimacy were directly (heterosexual outgroup) and indirectly (homosexual outgroup) related to greater negative affect. When homosexual people were indicated as the outgroup, anticipated rejection held a critical role as a mediator. Differentiating between whom identity denial is coming from and how it is processed is critical for understanding identity denial processes, and for future interventions to reduce bisexual and pansexual mental health consequences. Implications and limitations are discussed.
doi:10.31234/ fatcat:g34jhqdx3rdvbjdgzqbkeu4g6m