La Trobe University is conducting one of the largest ever studies on the mental health of people who are attracted to more than one gender.
The Who I Am study aims to shed light on the little understood reasons behind the high prevalence of poor mental health in the bisexual and pansexual population.
Lead investigator Julia Taylor, from La Trobe’s Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) said previous research had consistently found that bisexual and pansexual Australians suffer from poorer mental health than gay men, lesbians and heterosexuals.
“Bisexual and pansexual people are frequently subjected to discrimination and a lack of social acceptance – even within the lesbian and gay communities,” Ms Taylor said.
“People are assumed to be heterosexual or homosexual depending on the gender of their partner and there is a lack of widely visible bisexual role models and few organised communities.
“Despite a large body of evidence showing poorer mental health among bisexual and pansexual people there is very little understanding about the reasons for this.
“The aim of the Who I Am study is to find out why this is the case so that we can find ways to improve the mental health of this group of people.”
Ms Taylor, a PhD candidate, said the study had already received an overwhelming response.
“We have had around 2000 people complete our survey so far, highlighting the clear need for this type of research.
“Many bisexual and pansexual people feel their sexuality is invisible or they are not respected and this is a way for them to be heard.”
For more information and to take part in the study visit www.whoiamsurvey.com
La Trobe University