Bisexual-Identifying Women’s Relationship Expectations of Female- and Male-Identifying Partners

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4 Scopus citations


Gender role socialization influences women’s expectations in intimate relationships. For bisexual-identifying women, expectations may differ by the gender of their partner. We interviewed a racially and ethnically diverse sample of 12 bisexual-identifying cis-gender women (M = 32 years old) about their relationship expectations of female- and male-identifying partners. Using a grounded theory approach to thematic analysis(Charmaz, 2014), we identified five themes that described bisexual-identifying women’s relationship expectations: (a) Communication, (b) Safety and security, (c) Gender expression, (d) Division of labor, and (e) Allies and advocates. Within each theme, women expressed insights into their tendencies to recreate and/or resist traditional gender roles. Regardless of gender, women expected their partners to acknowledge and advocate for their bisexual identity in public and in private. Findings illustrate the continuing influence of traditional gender role norms, bi-invisibility, and bi-negativity, and the intensified challenges that multiple marginalization creates for bisexual women of color.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-165
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Bisexuality
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Bisexual
  • expectations
  • partner
  • relationships
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Cultural Studies


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