Women in partnerships with bisexual men: characteristics of the group

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Article(UKR)(.pdf)

Female partners of men who have sex with men are a poorly studied group. Secondary analysis of the Ukrainian data gave the conservative number of such women as the range 10,700 to 43,000 persons. The article presents the results of the data analysis from the women’s subsample of a pilot a cross-sectional study of bisexual men and their female partners was conducted in 2013 in five Ukraine cities. 101 women were interviewed according to a standardized questionnaire, and 10 semi-structured interviews were recorded. The obtained data characterize the female partners of behaviorally bisexual men as a relatively young and mostly socially prosperous group with a completed education, having experience of cohabitation with men, as well as ready for sexual experiments and independent of the older generation. Confrontation with the bisexuality of the partner stimulates a change in perceptions of the relationship models between different genders and promotes the conscious choice of one’s own family life model with sensitivity to both members of the partnership’s needs. Most women interviewed characterize their relationships positively, although the stage may influence it in the relationship with the man before coming out of a bisexual and the rigidity of their own perceptions of gender roles. Limited communication with others, lack of sources of social and psychological support in crisis moments of life together may indicate socially disadapted status of heterosexual couples in which at least one partner is bisexual. This study’s main limitations are the small and non-random sampling and recruitment of respondents through their husbands or regular male partners who were open in their own non-heterosexuality.

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