7.09.2005

NYT Bisexuality Article

Several friends were asking me about this New York Times article questioning the existence of male bisexuality, Straight, Gay or Lying? Bisexuality Revisited.

So I thought I'd pass on this email I just got from Ron Shuresha, a really nice guy I met in New Orleans and co-editor fo the forthcoming Bi Men: Coming Out Every Which Way.

--

Michael Bailey = The Man Who Would Be Legit

Michael Bailey, author of the so-called research on bisexual men reported in the New York Times on July 5, 2005, has a history of publishing spurious psychological research which intends to alienate queers and devalue their sexual identity and life experience. His book "The Man Who Would Be Queen" was so discredited among most psychologists as to cost him his dept chairmanship at Northwestern University, disparaged and outraged the US transgender community, and so vehemently declaimed by the GLBTQ intellectual community that the Lambda Literary Foundation withdrew its award of a Lammy (and led LLF president Jim Marks to recently resign). Now, this "expert" Michael Bailey has turned the focus of his distorted xenophobic vision of human sexuality from transgender folks to bisexual men.

Astonishingly, a NY Times article by Benedict Carey, "Bi, Straight, or Lying?" lends credence to Bailey's recently published assertion that bi men experience a disparity of sexual attraction to one gender or another, despite their claims to bisexual identity and activity. The reporter ignores many methodological problems of the research, and seems to have avoided contact with bisexual advocates to present a counterpoint.

More significantly, the NY Times article made no note of a recent, far more scientifically objective, 30,000-word article published in Stanford Law Review, The Epistemic Contract of Bisexual Erasure, brilliantly written by highly esteemed Yale legal scholar Kenji Yoshino. The article concludes that gays and straights ("monosexuals") have made an unspoken and unconscious deal to "erase" bisexuals, to pretend that bisexuality doesn't exist, for differing yet overlapping cultural and political reasons.

Bailey's motivation to conduct questionable research on bi male sexual response in order to create controversy, and the NY Times unquestioning acceptance of his research without adequate response from the bisexual activist community, excellently illustrate Mr Yoshino's premise.

In today’s sexual world, both straight and gay and lesbian communities still often refuse to accept the reality of bisexuality. My forthcoming nonfiction anthology, "Bi Men: Coming Out Every Which Way," confronts head-on the limiting views that bisexuality is a transitional phase of sexual evolution or a simple refusal to accept being either homosexual or straight. This pioneering collection of moving personal essays by bisexual men and those who love them explores what it means to be bisexual in today’s monosexually oriented society. "Bi Men" refutes the denial and lies about bisexual men that people like Michael Bailey attempt to perpetuate.

-- Ron Shuresha

2 comments:

  1. Yada yada yada.... we've heard it before, we'll hear it again. Everyone seems to be the expert on human sexuality when it comes to being gay, huh?

    My first issue is that unless you actually experience the entire concept/process first hand, you truly can not be 100% certain of what the origin or reasoning is.

    My second issue is that this is similar to the previous research done on HIV. A while back doctors were concerned that HIV may be transmited via saliva because many of the men they had interviewed who recently became HIV+ said they "only had oral sex". Of course, that was later shown to be based on the fact that most of these men simply did not want to admit to having anal intercourse with another man, so the statistics were based on inaccurate information basically.

    What's there to say that basically the same issue applies here. The doctor conducted tests on men who claimed to be "bi" but were actually gay. Of course, when reviewed, they would more likely be seen as gay. Most men who are really "bi" (the original concept of being "bi" is implied) wont step forward for research or studies.

    I think the next study should be to test whether a straight man could get an erection due to having his dick sucked by a gay man. Does that make him gay, bi, confused, horny? Oh the mysteries of science. :)

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  2. Hey D, good point comparing to the HIV studies - a data analyst friend of mine looked at the original article, too, and was like, "This study is as unsound as Tom DeLay's ethics..."

    Besides, what fun would sexual attraction be if there wasn't any mystery to it?! ;-)

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