© 2018


Theories, Research, and Recommendations for the Invisible Sexuality

  • D. Joye Swan
  • Shani Habibi
  • Brings together the disparate body of research on bisexuality and provides a strong, clear synthesis of the history, data, implications and future recommendations for the field.

  • Addresses the invisibility of bisexuality in the contexts of society and the academy, gender and sex, intimate relationships, and mental health.

  • Calls for a unifying definition of bisexuality as a way to advance research on and the understanding of bisexuality.

  • Provides practical applications of research findings including individual and societal recommendations.


Table of contents

About this book


This pathbreaking volume brings together a diverse body of sexual, behavioral, and social science research on bisexuality. Arguing for a clear, evidence-based definition of bisexuality and standardized measures for assessing sexual orientation, it spotlights challenges that need to be addressed toward attaining these goals.

The book’s deep trove of findings illuminates the experiences of bisexual men and women in key aspects of life, as well as common mental health issues in the face of stigma, prejudice, and outright denial from the heterosexual and homosexual communities.

Throughout, contributors examine the paradoxical invisibility of bisexuality even as society and science have become more inclusive of lesbians and gay men, and emphasize the critical role of thoughtful, respectful support across societal and mental health domains.

Among the topics covered:

  • Defining bisexuality: challenges and importance of and toward a unifying definition.
  • Plurisexual identity labels and the marking of bisexual desire.
  • Binegativity: attitudes toward and stereotypes about bisexuals.
  • Female bisexuality: identity, fluidity, and cultural expectations.
  • Romantic and sexual relationship experiences among bisexual individuals.
Bisexuality is a substantial reference for psychologists, scholars and graduate students in LGBTQIA+ studies, and clinicians seeking both theoretical and applied perspectives on the research into bisexuality. It also offers instructors a supplemental research-based textbook option for teaching courses related to sexuality and bisexuality. 


bisexual identity bisexual invisibility bisexual stigma non-monogamy male bisexuals female bisexuals suicide rates for bisexuals mental health issues in bisexuals history of bisexuality binegativity bisexual relationships homophobia gender and sexuality sexual behaviour

Editors and affiliations

  • D. Joye Swan
    • 1
  • Shani Habibi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychology and Social SciencesWoodbury UniversityBurbankUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyMount Saint Mary’s UniversityLos AngelesUSA

About the editors

D. Joye Swan, PhD

Dr. Swan has been studying sexual behavior for over twenty years. The common feature in all of her research is using social psychological theory to understand and change stigma and prejudice in relation to sexual minorities beginning with her research on aversive discrimination against homosexual males to her most recent research on defining, labeling, and understanding the origins and impact of biphobia. Along with Dr. Habibi, she has recently completed two large scale studies which follow up on and expand their research on how heterosexuals define bisexuality and under what conditions they will apply that definition to either males or females.

Shani Habibi, PhD

Dr. Habibi is an assistant professor of psychology at Mount Saint Mary’s University and a licensed clinical psychologist. Her main research interests are in the areas of sexuality with a focus on bisexuality.  She is trained as a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist as well as a Systemic Therapist and has treated clients in a variety of clinical settings, including bisexuals. Currently, she educates marriage and family therapists on how to treat bisexuals in a clinical setting and is on the board of the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association (soon to be the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Psychotherapy Association).

Bibliographic information