Dr. Joye Swan, Chair of Woodbury University’s Psychology Program, has been recognized for her book, “Bisexuality: Theories, Research and Recommendations for the Invisible Sexuality.” The book, co-authored with her former student and Woodbury alumna, Dr. Shaghayegh Habibi, was unanimously selected as the winner of the Diverse Sexualities Research and Education Institute (DSREI) 2020 Book Award.
The pathbreaking volume brings together a diverse body of sexual, behavioral, and social science research on bisexuality. Arguing for a clear, evidence-based definition of bisexuality and standardized measures for assessing sexual orientation, it spotlights challenges that need to be addressed toward attaining these goals.
“It is an exceptional book which illuminates a much-neglected topic in our field. When others refer to the LGBTQ+ communities, the bisexual community tends to remain invisible,” stated Peggy J. Kleinplatz, Chair of the DSREI book award committee. “Thank you for your excellent, scholarly contribution to the literature! As the first book to win the DSREI Book Award, it sets the barre for the study of diversity in sexuality.”
The book’s deep trove of findings illuminates the experiences of bisexual men and women in key aspects of life, as well as common mental health issues in the face of stigma, prejudice, and outright denial from the heterosexual and homosexual communities.
It also examines the paradoxical invisibility of bisexuality even as society and science have become more inclusive of lesbian women and gay men, and emphasizes the critical role of thoughtful, respectful support across societal and mental health domains.
“The award is extra meaningful as it substantiates my life’s work in two ways,” said Dr. Swan. “It validates my contributions to the study of sexuality and demonstrates the impact I’ve had on my students’ life trajectories. I’m especially pleased to share this award with my former student, Woodbury graduate, and now research partner, Dr. Habibi.”
Dr. Swan has been studying sexual behavior for over twenty years. The common feature in all of her research is using social psychological theory to understand and change stigma and prejudice in relation to sexual minorities beginning with her research on aversive discrimination against homosexual males to her most recent research on defining, labeling, and understanding the origins and impact of biphobia.