ABC News Promotes Bisexuality for Young Women

The August 17 ABC News report “Young Women Defy Labels in Intimacy” on isn't a news story as much as a promotion of bisexuality and sexploitation.

ABC's failure to balance the story by incorporating socially conservative views (probably because it would have seemed “judgmental”) exemplifies the mainstream media's bias against traditional morality.    

Right from the beginning, the article reads like an ad for girls to experiment sexually with other girls.  “Pop culture loves the recreational lesbian – the woman who dabbles but doesn't stay the course,” asserts the provocative lead sentence.  The art accompanying the article is a cover of OK! magazine featuring “Britney's New Lover” – a female kissing the pop tart.

The only “experts” quoted in the piece are Roberta Sklar of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and Kaaren Williamsen-Garvey, director of the Gender and Sexuality Center at Carleton College in Minnesota..  The women in the story were all very proud of their experimentations with bisexuality, even if they married men in the end. 

ABC fails to quote anybody who thought bisexuality was wrong, immoral or even dangerous.  The article fails to acknowledge any of the studies concluding that experimentation with bisexuality can lead to drug use and other risk factors, including forced sexual contact and having an increased number of male partners over time. (Translation: increased risk for sexually transmitted disease.)

No, the piece on could actually be repackaged in pamphlet form and used as an ad campaign for the joys of bisexuality.  Here's some of the rah-rah language included in this “news story”:

    “I know a woman who had relationships of depth with members of both sexes,” said Sklar. “She didn't put a tag on what her sexuality identity was. Recently, I saw her at her wedding to a young, lovely man. In no way does she deny her history or say she has found her true sexuality. It was all her true sexuality.”

    “When women exploit the shock value of bisexuality, they discount deep, loving relationships.”

    “You go into a bar and see girls making out with girls just to get the guys excited. But that is different from the women who fall in love with other women and take their relationships seriously.” “Often it is in the enlightened college cocoon where women discover their sexuality,” said Kaaren Williamsen-Garvey, director of the Gender and Sexuality Center at Carleton College in Minnesota. “Identity politics are alive and well on college campuses,” she said. In the 1990s, women used to joke about “lesbian until graduation,” but now students are less judgmental and try to avoid the inevitable labels. “Sexuality is not black and white, it's along a spectrum,” said Williamsen-Garvey. “Sometimes it appears that students flirt with bisexuality and retreat. When they leave college the feelings and desires may still be there, but then they couple up.” Is it possible that seeing the stars' same-sex dalliances splashed on tabloid covers could actually help ease sexual taboos? Bisexuality is really not a new concept, but today's social acceptance has allowed women to express their sexuality more openly, according to NGLTF's Sklar.

For ABC News, it is all about “flexibility,” “social acceptance,” being “less judgmental,” and sex without consequences.

Kristen Fyfe is senior writer at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center