Clive Davis, the music industry legend known for discovering Whitney Houston and Alicia Keys, recently announced (at 80) that he is bisexual, sparking conversations in many circles about the legitimacy of bisexuality among men. Even as we see an increase in the acceptance of people who identify themselves in terms that don’t include “heterosexual” in entertainment and politics, this tolerance isn’t afforded to everyone. There’s still a huge negative stigma about bisexual men, particularly within the African-American community after the “down low” hysteria of the late 1990s. From HIV transmission fears to religious ostracizing to outright social rejection, Black bisexual men face unique challenges in affirming themselves.
In 2011, the New York Times reported on a study conducted by Northwestern University revisiting the sexual arousal patterns of bisexual men. Previous studies, found to have been flawed in how they were conducted, suggested that men only identified as bisexuals because of social norms and fear of identifying simply as homosexuals. The Northwestern study is the second to show that some men do, in fact, exhibit symptoms of physical arousal towards both men and women.
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