Bisexual ageing: What do we know and why should we care?

Jones, Rebecca (2018). Bisexual ageing: What do we know and why should we care? In: King, Andrew; Almack, Kathryn; Suen, Yiu-Tung and Westwood, Sue eds. Older Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans People: Minding the knowledge gaps. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 10–26.



This chapter summarises what little is known about bisexuality and ageing and identifies some of the most significant knowledge gaps. It then discusses four reasons for this lack of knowledge and some potential solutions which might help to address these gaps. The reasons discussed are: understandings of bisexuality which work to minimise its prevalence and significance; oversimplifying the relationships between sexual identities, behaviours and attractions; data collection and analysis practices which erase any distinctiveness to bisexual experiences; and difficulties finding research participants who are bisexual and older. The four corresponding potential solutions are: better theorisations of bisexuality; thinking more carefully about the significance of sexual identities in relation to sexual practices and sexual attractions; different data analysis practices; and alternative types of research. If the ‘B’ in LGBTQ is ever to be more than tokenistic, it is important that this knowledge gap is addressed. However this chapter also argues that addressing the knowledge gaps around bisexuality and ageing can carry benefits for people of other sexualities in later life and for academics and practitioners interested in ageing or sexuality, by encouraging more sophisticated thinking about all sexual identities.

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