Beyond "Risk": Exploring Sexuality among Diverse Typologies of Bisexual Men in the United States

Brian Dodge, Joshua G. Rosenberger, Vanessa Schick, Michael Reece, Debby Herbenick, David S. Novak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Little public health research has explored male bisexuality and the wide range of behaviors experienced by bisexual men beyond disease transmission and other negative consequences. There is a general lack of information on diverse expressions of sexuality among diverse groups of bisexual men in the United States. Researchers collected data on a wide range of variables related to sexual behavior from a sample of 26,042 participants, recruited via a large social and sexual networking Website. Four distinct typologies of male bisexuality were constructed: self-identified bisexual, bisexual dating, bisexual with current sexual partners and bisexual by behavior. These categories were examined individually as well as compared and contrasted with one another. Demographic characteristics varied among men depending on bisexual categorization. Although participants that identified as bisexual within each typology often met criteria for other categories for other typologies, there was no absolute overlap between categories. The recency and frequency of sexual behaviors significantly varied based upon the participant's bisexual typology. Findings suggest that previous research on bisexual men's sexual behaviors and sexual risk behaviors may be misleading if bisexuality is restricted to a single typology. Further research should examine the potential subjective meanings and health implications of diverse typologies of male bisexuality, beyond sexual risk. Comprehensive and insightful research on aspects of life other than disease infection and transmission among bisexual men will help to ensure a more accurate understanding of male bisexuality in a comprehensive sexual health framework.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-34
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Bisexuality
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Cultural Studies


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