A new report suggests that straight people are more likely to view bi women as “confused, promiscuous, or neurotic” than straight women or lesbians.

The study, published by Tel Aviv University researcher Alon Zivony in a March 2018 edition of the Journal of Sex Research, surveyed more than 250 heterosexual adults, including men and women. Subjects were provided with descriptions of straight women, lesbians, and bi women and then asked to evaluate their “romantic potential.”

The findings were revealing: Participants were more likely to label bisexual women as “confused, promiscuous, non-monogamous, neurotic, extraverted, and less agreeable” than their straight or lesbian counterparts.

It’s unsurprising, admits Zivony, especially given the longstanding stigmas surrounding bisexuality both within and outside of the LGBT community.

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“On the one hand, society habitually ignores bisexuality,” Zivony told PsyPost. “Whenever a person professes any bisexual tendencies, they are automatically categorized as ‘gay, straight, or lying’. On the other hand, bisexuality is associated with immaturity and inability to maintain a relationship.”

The study has its limitations, especially since the origins of these negative social attitudes toward the bi community aren’t clear. But Zivony believes this research provides empirical evidence of the negative stereotypes bisexuals grapple with every day—and hopes the team’s findings will encourage people to talk more openly about bisexuality.

“We found that individuals who lacked knowledge about bisexuality were more likely to evaluate bisexual women as confused and promiscuous, [which] means that society’s tendency to ignore bisexuality is harmful to bisexuals,” Zivony added.

“But… it also means that educating the public about bisexuality can help reduce prejudice and therefore improve the lives of bisexual individuals.”

Samantha Manzella is a writer and copy editor based out of the Hudson Valley. You can find her writing in a coffeehouse or searching Insta for the latest tattoo artist to hit the scene.

@slmjournalist