Journal of Bisexuality

Journal of Bisexuality Overview: Volume 11 Issue 1
Report by Tracey Plowman from BiUK

The latest issue of the academic research publication ‘Journal of Bisexuality’ begins with an introduction from the new editor, Brian Zamboni. Amongst others he acknowledges the work of Fritz Klein, who founded this publication in 2000. Klein is probably most well known for his creation of the Klein Sexual Orientation Grid which takes into account lots of different elements of sexuality such as sexual behaviour and emotional preferences.

Notable papers in this issue include Anderson and Adam’s write up of their research on men’s football (soccer) teams at universities in the USA and these students’ views of bisexuality. They considered their participants’ education as well as the traditionally heterosexist, masculine culture of sports in the USA and found a refreshing openness to bisexuality. Bi behaviour or feelings tended to be described as ‘partly gay’ though, rather than labelled as bisexuality, and the young men interviewed reported knowing gay men but not men who identify as bisexual.

In another interesting article, Bong contemplates one Malaysian woman’s account of her bisexuality and how this intersects with her spirituality. The woman in question follows ethical codes of how to treat people in relationships according to her Buddhism, but she does not allow her religion to dictate who she should be with. Bong also compares ‘bisexuality’ and ‘queerness’ and argues that ‘bisexuality’ can be a more affirming identity for some because it identifies a desire rather than a rejection of something (e.g. sexuality and/or gender norms). Using this case study to show her point, she explains how this woman’s attraction specifically to two genders – which she perceives as ‘same’ and ‘opposite’ respectively – means that she favours the term ‘bisexual’ though her sexuality also ‘queers’ the norms of sexuality by not being unidirectional.

The collection of papers in this issue generally presented varying definitions of bisexuality. While I personally don’t agree with all of the definitions used in the research papers, such as the limitation of bisexuality to the attraction to two genders, I appreciate the branching out of researchers into looking at different ways bisexuality can be defined and then examined. A variation in definitions in the research is more likely to be representative as there appears to be such variation in individual understandings and definitions of their own bisexuality.