[Ed. – I thought weed was harmless recreation. Now it’s a stark example of something you turn to because of social isolation?]
The 2000 National Alcohol Survey showed that nearly 38 percent of bisexual women reported marijuana use in the last year compared to only 5 percent of straight women and just over 20 percent of lesbians. Another recent study of a representative sample of U.S. college students found that bisexual women were nearly three times more likely to have used marijuana than lesbian and straight women.
But researchers are just beginning to understand why bisexual women have such high rates of cannabis use. Dr. Margaret Robinson, a research scientist at theOntario HIV Treatment Network, has been conducting one-on-one interviews and focus groups with a small group of bisexual women in Toronto in order to understand the motivations behind this behavior.
Based on her findings, published in the journal Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, Dr. Robinson argues that bisexual women live at a unique intersection of stigma and social exclusion that may influence their marijuana use. Although it’s a remarkably safe drug relative to alcohol, heroin, cocaine, and other illicit substances, its high use among bi women is one of the starkest indicators of the isolation they experience at the intersection of their gender and sexual orientation.