Bidentity: Sexual Behavior/Identity Congruence and Women's Sexual, Physical and Mental Well-Being

Vanessa Schick, Joshua G. Rosenberger, Debby Herbenick, Sarah K. Calabrese, Michael Reece

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


According to cognitive dissonance theory, the co-occurrence of inconsistent cognitions may result in psychological distress. This distress may lead to undesirable health outcomes. This study explored the role of sexual behavior/identity congruence on women's mental, physical and sexual well-being. A total of 2,578 women who reported sexual attraction, desire, affection, intentions and/or behavior involving other women completed a web-based survey about their sexual identity/orientation, sexual behavior and well-being across domains. Participants whose recent sexual partnering matched their sexual identity reported fewer mentally/physically unhealthy days and also better sexual experiences. The well-being of queer-identified women did not significantly vary as a function of the gender of their sexual partners. The importance of behavior/identity congruence is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-197
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Bisexuality
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Cultural Studies


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