Bisexuality: Challenging our Understanding of Human Sexuality and Sexual Orientation

  • Eli Coleman
Part of the Philosophy and Medicine book series (PHME, volume 22)


While society has struggled to understand and accept the existence and normality of homosexuality, the struggle to understand and accept bisexuality has been even more difficult. Society, it seems, would rather accept the myth that sexual orientation can be divided into two distinct categories: heterosexual and homosexual. As Klein [22] has indicated, some of the fundamental myths of society regarding sexual orientation are: a person is either straight or gay; there is no such entity as bisexuality; the bisexual is really homosexual; and bisexuality is only a transitional stage; and the bisexual is simply mixed up and can’t make up his/her mind. Yet, even though Kinsey and his associates published their data over 30 years ago, these myths continue to be perpetuated. Kinsey, Pomeroy, and Martin [21] stated:

The world is not divided into sheep and goats. Not at all things are black nor all things white. It is a fundamental of taxonomy that nature rarely deals with discrete categories and tries to force facts into separated pigeon holes. The living world is a continuum is each and every one of its aspects. The sooner we learn this concerning human sexual behavior the sooner we shall reach a sounder understanding of the realities of sex ([21], p. 639).


Sexual Orientation Sexual Identity Circle Graph Homosexual Identity Sexual Orientation Identity 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eli Coleman
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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