Bisexual Stereotypes in Clinical Evaluation

Ori Ferster, Alon Zivony*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Psychologists nowadays tend to view same-sex attraction as a normal part of human sexuality, but it is less clear whether they still hold prejudicial views regarding bisexuality. Previous studies have demonstrated that psychotherapists’ clinical evaluation is affected by whether their client is bisexual. One plausible interpretation is that such differences stem from an uncritical adoption of bisexual stereotypes, namely, that bisexual people are confused, immature, and unable to maintain romantic relationships. However, an alternative hypothesis suggests that differences in evaluation may be based on the psychotherapists’ experience with bisexual clients. To adjudicate between these possibilities, psychotherapists and clinical psychology interns (N = 229) were presented with a description of a hypothetical client – a bisexual man, a gay man, or a heterosexual man – seeking counseling for academic issues. Compared to non-bisexual clients, bisexual clients were evaluated as more likely to suffer from identity and relationship issues. These clinical evaluations were observed regardless of whether the therapist was personally acquainted with bisexual people or had any experience with bisexual clients. Instead, stereotypical clinical issues were perceived as particularly salient among psychotherapists who viewed the hypothetical bisexual clients as immature and confused. These results suggest that like the general public, psychotherapists adhere to stereotypical beliefs about bisexual people. Such biases are likely to have negative impacts on bisexual clients’ diagnoses and overall satisfaction from therapy.We

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity
StateAccepted/In press - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • bias
  • bisexuality
  • prejudice
  • psychotherapy
  • stereotypes


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