In 2006 The Rutgers Nisso Groep (Dutch expert centre on sexuality) did a large-population study on sexual and reproductive health in The Netherlands. Also, in depth analyses were done in several publications on the situation of LB women. Here are the main findings:
From: Kuyper, L. (2006). Seksualiteit en seksuele gezondheid bij homo- en biseksuelen [Sexuality and sexual health among homo- and bisexuals]. In F. Bakker & I. Vanwesenbeeck (Eds.), Seksuele gezondheid in Nederland 2006 [Sexual health in the Netherlands 2006] (pp. 167-188). Delft: Eburon.
- 109 lesbian women and 103 bisexual women were included. Question: ever received negative reactions based on same-sex attractions?
o Never: 21.1% L, 45.2% B.
o Sometimes: 57.8% L, 45.2% B.
o Often: 21.1% L, 9.6% B.
The percentage of bisexual women being lower is probably due to the fact that they are less open about their same sex attractions, not to the fact that bisexual women are more accepted
- Participants were also asked about the person who gave a negative reaction, if this has happened during the past 12 months (in total 58 women, lesbian and bisexual women were grouped together): 20.0% family; 23.7% classmates; 14.3% others at work; 17.3 % friends/acquaintances; 17.3% neighbours, people from the neighbourhood; 32.1% unfamiliar people on the streets; 12.0% unfamiliar people while going out; 3.4% sport or other association; 2.0% doctor (no GP); 12.8% others.
- These participants were also asked what kinds of reaction it was: 27.9% openly disapproved; 36.8% name-calling, making hurtful remarks; 2.9% joking; 11.8% ignoring; 7.4% sexual remarks; 7.4% gossip; 13.2% don’t take it seriously; 8.8% other.
From: Kuyper, L., & Fokkema, T. (2010). Impact of minority stress on mental health among Dutch LGBs: Examination of differences between gender and sexual orientation. Manuscript submitted for publication.
The same population study investigates whether received negative reactions have an impact on their well-being. The study showed that those women who received negative reactions report a worse mental health (that is in line with the minority stress theory). This relationship works out the same for both bisexual and for lesbian women.
From: Kuyper, L., & Vanwesenbeeck, I. (2010). Examining sexual health differences between lesbian, gay, bisexual, and heterosexual adults: the role of socio-demographics sexual behavior characteristic and minority stress. Manuscript accepted for publication in the Journal of Sex Research.
The population study found that having had negative reactions is, among lesbian and bisexual women, related to lower levels of sexual satisfaction, sexual coercion victimization and sexual health care need. In comparison with heterosexual women, bisexual women report more sexual coercion and a need for sexual health care (lesbian women did not have high scores on these items).
To sum up
Also in the relative tolerant The Netherlands, lesbian and bisexual women still face prejudiced and hostile reactions from various sources. These experiences are not only negative by themselves, but they also seem to have a negative impact and consequences at different levels of health.
Summary provided by Lisette Kuyper, RozeLinks.
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