Found out recently that many of my 14-yr-old daughter's friends are claiming to be bisexual. Not that that's necessarily a problem, but it struck me odd that so many were claiming this. I started researching the subject and it seems as if it's a growing trend and that the reason behind some of these claims, are an attempt by girls to appear more attractive to men (who are used to seeing lesbian clinches etc in magazines and films etc). Plus, bisexual teenagers are more likely to self harm, suffer bullying and may be more likely to take their own lives... Just wondered if anyone here has any knowledge on this topic.
Girls come out as bisexual to please men?! That sounds like nonsense something that men might try to reassure themselves with! The bisexual girls and women I know are drawn to other girls and women for pretty much the opposite reason to this - because they don't like the shortcomings they see in men.
I also think more teenagers are trying to resist being pigeon-holed... Their sexuality is new to them; they are still finding out what and who they like... You could say that identifying as bisexual is the logical thing to do as a teenager, and it's a shame more teens don't feel safe to 'be bi'.
Unfortunately, being gay is much more stigmatised than being straight; and being a gay man/boy is much more stigmatised than being a lesbian. There are bisexual teens of both sexes, but you tend to hear about more bisexual girls because it is still (in most parts of the country, at least) difficult and dangerous for boys/men to come out as gay or bisexual.
As for self harm... Well, bisexual teenagers may be more likely to self-harm than straight ones, but they are less likely to self harm than gay and lesbian teens. Our society is homophobic. Lesbian, gay and bisexual teens are more likely to be bullied and discriminated against. And they are less likely to be supported when they are bullied and discriminated against. And bullying and discrimination makes people miserable and desperate, as we all know.
It seems to me that the implied question behind your post is the wrong one to ask. Rather than asking "Why would teenagers want to be bisexual, when that doesn't make them happy?" it would be better to ask "How can we better support bisexual teenagers to be happy, safe and free from discrimination?"
If it's knowledge you want rather than opinion, here are a couple of links that you might find useful.
thanks for that. The theory of 'pleasing men' came from a survey conducted by a US University. I can't say how much/little validation it has, but obv playing with this sexual identity (rather than genuinely feeling it) could have repercussions for the teenager, and possibly parents may need to be aware of this whilst dealing with them. It wasn't meant to be negative towards bisexuality, but more a concern that some girls were toying with it to attract men, which I think could end up becoming a tricky situation both for them and the men/women they are having relations with.
I think there could be some truth to it. It went on a lot when I was younger, including girls kissing each other to tease boys. It made it very difficult when I was questioning my sexuality, as I didn't want come out as bisexual in case people thought I was just putting it on.
I'm not for a moment saying that girls don't kiss girls - but I am questioning whether they do it to 'appear more attractive to men' or 'tease boys'.
I went to a girls' school (30-35 years ago) and there was not a boy in sight, but still girls kissed girls! Some were lesbians, some were (I imagine) bisexual; but some were just playing, for want of a better word.