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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 21, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 34
Young people more sexually fluid, Brit study finds
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Young people more sexually fluid, Brit study finds

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Young people are much less likely than their mothers and fathers to define themselves as '100% straight,' a British study finds.

The study, sponsored by YouGov website, interviewed 1,632 people ranging from 18 years to over 60 years in age. They were asked to rate their sexual identity on the Kinsey scale, with 0 meaning exclusively straight and 6 being exclusively Gay or Lesbian.

Among the group of respondents as a whole, 72% of adults chose 0, with just 23% differing.

Four percent ranked themselves as exclusively Gay or Lesbian, with 19% identifying as somewhere on the spectrum in between the two.

However, among 18-24 year olds the results were astonishingly different. Just 46% of young people ranked themselves as 0, or exclusively straight, compared to 49% who picked something else.

In contrast, 89% of respondents over 60 said they are either completely straight or completely Gay or Lesbian. Only 7% of the oldest group of respondents would rank themselves somewhere between 0 and 6 on the scale.

While a larger number of young respondents identified as Gay or Lesbian - 6% as opposed to 4% for the survey group as a whole - that alone cannot explain the large differences between the younger generation and their elders.

Instead, YouGov analysts said, the significant number is the 43% of younger respondents who identified themselves as somewhere between exclusively straight and exclusively Gay or Lesbian.

'Clearly, these figures are not measures of active bisexuality - overall, 89% of the population describes themselves as heterosexual - but putting yourself at level 1 allows for the possibility of homosexual feelings and experiences,' YouGov said.

'More than anything, it indicates an increasingly open minded approach to sexuality. In a further set of questions asking if respondents could conceivably be attracted to, have sex with, or have a relationship with someone of the same sex (if the right person came along at the right time), level 1s were at least 35% more likely to say they could than level 0s.'

Younger respondents were also more likely to have acted on same-sex attraction, the survey found. Almost a quarter of respondents between 18 and 39 years of age reported having had at least one same-sex sexual experience, compared to just 9% of those over the age of 60.

Interestingly, more men reported having had a Gay experience than women. One fifth of men, compared to only 14% of women, said they had participated in a sexual encounter with someone of the same sex.

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