Religion, Male Bisexuality and Sexual Risk in Lebanon




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Peer reviewed



The social position of bisexual men in Lebanon and in other Arab Middle Eastern societies is complex – on the one hand, bisexuality as a practice is silently tolerated but, on the other hand, bisexuality as an identity is rejected as a cultural anomaly. In this chapter, the interface of religion and bisexuality and its implications for mental and sexual health are explored. First, theoretical issues concerning bisexuality as an orientation or identity are outlined, and social representations theory and identity process theory from social psychology are suggested as useful frameworks for understanding identity among bisexual men in Lebanon. Second, the social, theological and psychological aspects of bisexuality and religion in Arab Middle Eastern societies are presented. Third, the chapter provides an overview of key religious, cultural and political aspects of Lebanese society and its stance on sexuality issues. These sections contextualize identity construction and maintenance among bisexual men in Lebanon. Fourth, drawing on social representations theory and identity process theory, identity and wellbeing issues are discussed in relation to bisexual men in Lebanon. In the absence of previous empirical research into bisexual men in Lebanon, some tentative hypotheses are offered in relation to this population.



Religion, Bisexuality, Sexual health, Lebanon, Men who have sex with men, Gay


Maatouk, I. and Jaspal, R. (2019) Religion, male bisexuality and sexual health in Lebanon. In: A.K.T. Yip and A. Toft (eds.), Bisexuality, Spirituality & Identity. London: Routledge


Research Institute

Mary Seacole Research Centre