The Who I Am study was recently conducted at La Trobe University's Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society. It is the largest study conducted of bisexual Australians to date and one of the largest studies of bisexual people conducted in the world. The founder of Bi+ Australia led this research and this organisation was developed as a direct result of the study and its findings. Though the project is drawing to a close at La Trobe University, sharing of the study's findings through publication and other media as well as through Bi+ Australia's professional networks continues.
Bisexual people have consistently been found to experience higher rates of poor mental health and psychological distress than their lesbian, gay and heterosexual counterparts. Despite these findings now being well established, the reasons behind this poor mental health remain under-researched and largely unknown. With one in ten Australians reporting bisexual attraction (Australian Study of Health and Relationships, 2013) and the significant burden of poor mental health reported by this group, it is essential that we urgently address this current knowledge gap.
Who I Am was a national survey conducted online in 2016/17. A total of 2,651 bi+ Australians participated in the study. The survey collected information about bi+ people's life experiences as people who are attracted to more than one gender and also asked about their mental health. A large amount of data was collected making it a rich source of new knowledge on a group of people often overlooked in research.
Preliminary findings from the Who I Am study confirm that bisexual people do experience significantly poorer mental health than the broader population. In fact, these findings suggest that mental health may be even worse in this population than other similar studies with smaller sample sizes have reported. Over the coming months as findings from the Who I Am study are published, Bi+ Australia will be working hard to ensure that these findings are broadly disseminated by sharing through our networks, working closely with media organisations and targeting relevant professional journals, magazines and newsletters.
For research outputs, related media articles and more information head to the Bi+ Australia's Facebook page.
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