LONDON — Bisexual women in the UK are more likely to experience poor mental health and mental distress than lesbians according to new research published in the Journal of Public Health and reported by MedicalXpress.
Bi women were 64 percent more likely to report an eating problem and 37 percent more likely to have deliberately self harmed than lesbians, the research found. They were also 26 percent more likely to have felt depressed and 20 percent more likely to have suffered from anxiety in the previous year than lesbians. Using data from the 2007 Stonewall UK Women’s Health survey, researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine analyzed responses from about 5,700 bi women and lesbians living in the UK ages 14 and older.
The study found that bi women were less likely to be out to friends, family and co-workers and were less likely to be in relationships. They were less likely to experience sex-based discrimination at work, in health care services and in education and family than lesbians but were more likely to experience discrimination from their friends, researchers found.
“Bisexual people are at particular risk of invisibility and marginalization from both gay/lesbian communities and mainstream society,” said Dr. Ford Hickson of the London School. “Although bisexual women in our study reported experiencing less sexuality-based discrimination than lesbians, this did not benefit their mental health. Mental health services should be aware of both the differences and the similarities in bisexual and lesbian women’s mental health care needs and tailor the services they provide accordingly.”