Women's rationales and perspectives on "mostly" as a non-exclusive sexual identity label

Wignall, Liam and Driscoll, Helen (2020) Women's rationales and perspectives on "mostly" as a non-exclusive sexual identity label. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity. ISSN 2329-0390

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Abstract

The sexuality labels of “mostly straight” and “mostly gay” are used by men to understand their non-exclusive sexualities, yet the value of these labels in understanding women’s sexuality has not been investigated. The current qualitative study addresses this issue by examining how women with non-exclusive sexualities view the term "mostly" to understand their sexual desires and identities and explores their experiences as women with non-exclusive sexualities. Participants were 30 cis-gendered women who indicated having gender non-exclusive desires, yet did not identify as bisexual. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted and analysed using thematic analysis. Participants reported mostly lesbian and mostly straight identities as meaningfully different to bisexual identities, citing sexual, romantic and intellectual reasons as rationales for their non-exclusive orientations. Participants viewed “mostly” as more indicative of sexuality as a fluid construct, serving to de-emphasize sexual identity labels. Participants’ narratives support the notion that sexual identity labels "mostly lesbian" and "mostly straight" are useful to understand non-exclusive sexual desires and provides support for sexuality understood as a continuum interpreted through multiple overlapping categories. Implications for the understanding of women’s sexuality as fluid and flexible and how this relates more broadly to their identity are considered.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Psychology > Psychology
Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Helen Driscoll
Date Deposited: 19 May 2020 19:43
Last Modified: 19 May 2020 19:43
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/12050

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