Film And Television : Stereotypes And Implications

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The usage of the word “bisexual” to define an individual’s attraction to both sexes has been around since 1892. Bisexuality itself has been around since the study of world sexuality and in the United States alone, bisexuals make up 55% of the LGBT community (Gates (2011) p. 4). Yet as recently as the early 21st century, psychologists have still tried to argue that “most people are one way, some the other. A very few are truly ambidextrous” (Myers (2003) p.476). Bisexual representation in film and television is largely portrayed through common stereotypes and implications – when it is portrayed at all. In television, bisexuality is dismissed as the transitory stage between heterosexuality and homosexuality. In film, it is minimized to titillation for a male audience or as a trope for sexual promiscuity. This is largely in part due to the negative stereotypes surrounding the sexuality and the dichotomous nature of media framing in terms of sexual orientation in an effort to discourage bisexual visibility. Some of the largest stereotypes surrounding bisexuality aim largely at the person’s inability to “pick a side” and the erasure of their orientation when they finally do. According to Sharon Sumpter’s “Myths/Realities of Bisexuality,” the majority of bisexual stereotypes have to do with the idea that bisexuals are only “experimenting” and either “haven’t fully accepted themselves” or are “going through a phase” (Sumpter (1989)). The latter stereotype is perhaps the most
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