Young Bisexual People's Experiences of Sexual Violence:
A Longitudinal Investigation

Status: Collecting and analyzing data

About This Study

Purpose

Young bisexual people (aged 18-25) report higher levels of sexual victimization in comparison to both their heterosexual and gay or lesbian peers. However, there is very little research that has investigated the diversity of experience with violence within young bisexual people, nor is there adequate research to address what factors are driving the disparities experienced by young bisexual people overall. Further, there is little work that has investigated how experiences of violence relate to other health outcomes, such as negative mental health symptoms and substance use, across a diverse sample of young bisexual people over time. Previous research has consistently supported that People of Color and Indigenous People, as well as trans and non-binary people, report greater rates of sexual victimization in contrast to white or settler, and cisgender people. Additionally, research from our own team has found that bisexual-specific stigma is a strong cross-sectional predictor of greater rates of sexual victimization among young bisexual people. Given these gaps and available data, the current project aims to investigate whether longitudinally, exposure to bisexual stigma predicts greater reports of sexual violence, and in turn, whether experience of violence relates to subsequent health outcomes among a racially, ethnically, and gender diverse sample of young bisexual people.

Research Team

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Corey Flanders
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RaeAnn Anderson

My research focuses on understanding basic psychological processes in sexual violence, including both sexual victimization and sexual perpetration, in order to improve risk reduction and prevention interventions. I also conduct research on the measurement of sexual violence.

Corey Flanders

Corey Flanders (she/they) is an Assistant Professor in the Psychology and Education Department at Mount Holyoke College, and the director of the WISH research team. Corey conducts research with LGBTQ+ community on mental and sexual health equity and access, and in particular focuses on the health and wellness of bi+ community. Corey also enjoys made-for-tv sci-fi monster movies, and hanging out with their kiddos (2- and 4-legged, alike).

Saachi Khandpur

Saachi Khandpur is an international student and a senior at Mount Holyoke College. She is majoring in Psychology and Politics with a Certificate in Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice. She is interested in working with survivors of sexual violence who are also LGBTQ+ people, especially people of colour (POC) transnationally. In her free time, she likes to write, listen to music, and watch films (especially Bollywood films!).

Sara Kuhn

Sara Kuhn (B.F.A., University of Utah, 1998; M.L.I.S., University of British Columbia, 2008; College Teaching Certificate, University of North Dakota, 2018) is a clinical psychology doctoral student at the University of North Dakota. She is a graduate research assistant for the Anderson UND Sexual Violence Prevention Lab. Her research interests center around sexual violence prevention that examines perpetration of sexual violence as well as victimization. She is particularly interested in understanding bi+ (bisexual, pansexual, etc.) women's preferences for sexual violence prevention intervention programs.

Hannah Middleton

Hannah is a senior at Mount Holyoke majoring in Psychology. She is interested in the mental health of adoptees, the mental and physical aftermath of children in custody battles, and the social belongingness of LGBTQ+ people of minorities. Hannah is a member of the varsity tennis team at Mount Holyoke. In her free time, she loves reading fiction, listening to music, and watching videos of corgis, bunnies, and manatees. 

Margaret Robinson

Margaret Robinson is a bisexual and two-spirit scholar from Eski'kewaq, Nova Scotia, and a member of the Lennox Island First Nation. She holds a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Reconciliation, Gender, & Identity. Her work examines the impact of intersecting oppressions and draws on critical, postcolonial, and queer theories, intersectionality, and third wave feminism. She also engaged the contemporary Indigenous artistic renaissance, Mi’kmaw oral traditions, and the representation of Indigenous and of sexual and gender minority people in creative works. She has been a community-based researcher since 2009, incorporating participatory, action-based, feminist, and Indigenous research methods. She has led studies on decolonizing research funding in Canada, two-spirit people’s understanding of mental health, and cannabis use among bisexual women. In 2016 she led a team that developed and validated a measure of microaggressions and microaffirmations experienced by bisexual women. She conducted her postdoctoral training at the Centre for Addiction & Mental Health and was previously a Researcher in Residence in Indigenous Health at the Ontario HIV Treatment Network in Toronto.

Nicole VanKim

Nicole VanKim received her PhD from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in Epidemiology, with a focus on social and behavioral epidemiology. Her work aims to build an understanding of the behavioral and biological mechanisms that link discrimination and health disparities. The majority of her research focuses on the health of sexual minority women, with particular emphasis on health outcomes including chronic diseases (such as type 2 diabetes) and chronic pain.

Mya Wright

Mya Wright is a senior at Mount Holyoke College and is majoring in Psychology with a minor in Statistics. She has a deep fondness for narrative research especially those concerning narratives of members of marginalized communities. In her free time she loves to read novels, write short stories, and fantasize about her future endeavors.