The figures were revealed in Stonewall’s Celebrating Bi Inclusion in Secondary Schools report.
The report, which recommended three main ways that schools could “better build an inclusive environment”, threw up several shocking statistics. It found that over a third (35%) of bisexual students have experienced a form of bullying because of their sexuality. The report also found that only 37% reported that they had an adult at home they could talk to. This is 10% lower than what gay or lesbian students reported.
The most worrying statistic that came out was that over two-thirds (67%) of bisexual students, and over three-quarters (79%) of pansexual or queer students admitted to self-harming. For gay and lesbian students, this figure was 59%.
In the report’s introduction, it mentions how bisexual issues are often overlooked, because they are “assumed to be exactly the same as gay and lesbian young people.”
One student, Sian, a 13-year-old from Wales said: “I’ve been shouted at and talked about on multiple occasions because of my sexuality and I’ve heard remarks such as ‘bisexuals are more likely to cheat, I’d never date a bi woman or man’.
“A few people who are openly gay have said things like ‘as a lesbian, I would never want to do anything with a bisexual woman.'”
Another student, Chris, a 16-year-old from the South East said: ““I’ve heard a lot of gossip and horrible stuff people say about bisexuals (they’re greedy, it doesn’t make sense, pick one and pick the right one, etc.).
“There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding surrounding bisexuality in general (it’s a phase, it’s not real, etc).”
In one shocking example back in February, Sophia Santos, who identified as bisexual, and lived in the Philippines, committed suicide after she was bullied following her coming out.
The Stonewall report recommended three main ways that schools could help their bisexual students. These three points were educating and training staff, tackling biphobia directly with students and improving bi visibility with the curriculum and wider school life.
One of the ways that it recommends schools can do this is to acknowledge Bi Visibility Day, which is on September 23, and making sure that all pamphlets and other forms of discourse to represent the bisexual community.