Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling & Counseling Psychology

Committee Chair

Lisa Platt

Committee Co-Chair

Monica Leppma

Committee Member

Jeffrey Daniels

Committee Member

Christine Schimmel

Committee Member

Shane Chaplin


Although bisexuals are reportedly the largest sexual orientation minority group in North America (Copen, Chandra, & Febo-Vazquez, 2016), there is scant research examining the population without also including lesbian women and gay men. However, according to the American Psychological Association’s (2012) Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients, psychologists should endeavor to understand the unique experiences of the bisexual population. Bisexual individuals face different stereotypes, conflict within the LGB community, and different life experiences related to other sexual orientations (Rust, 2000). Two unique stereotypes applied to the bisexual community are that bisexuality is an unstable sexual orientation (Bostwick & Hequembourg, 2014) and that bisexual individuals are untrustworthy (Israel & Mohr, 2004). Currently, there is no research exploring differences in perceptions of these stereotypes between male and female bisexual individuals and scant research examining perceptions of bisexual individuals in same or different gender relationships. When research has been completed in these areas, it has tended to focus on bisexual men and women separately or on differences in perceptions depending upon the heterosexual person’s gender. The current study explored 558 heterosexual participants’ perceptions of bisexuality and used sexual orientation, gender, and type of relationship as independent variables and trustworthiness and stability as dependent variables. Results suggest there are no differences in perception of stability between bisexual men and women or same or different gender relationships. Additionally, no differences in trustworthiness between bisexual men and women and heterosexual and bisexual individuals were found. However, participants did perceive bisexual individuals in same gender relationships to be more trustworthy than those in different gender relationships. Possible explanations for these results, limitations of the study, and future directions are explored.