Younger generation more open to bisexuality, according to British study

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A British survey shows some surprising stats about how people identify themselves sexually and how open they are to same-sex relationships.

Here are some of the bi-specific statistics that came out of this survey of people across Great Britain that was taken last week:

* Nearly half of the youngsters don’t see themselves as completely heterosexual

* 18-to-24 year olds are more fluid as far as their sexual identity and sexual possibilities

* 23 percent of overall Brits put themselves in something other than 100 percent heterosexual

* 11 percent heterosexuals have had sex with the same sex

Who has been taking a ride on the wild side more?  Of people identifying as heterosexual, the group that said they had the highest number of same-sex encounters was the 25-to-39 year old group, at 27 percent. The younger group (18-24 year olds) reported 23 percent and the older group (40-59 year olds) reported 14 percent.

Sexual fluidity. In the survey, 74 percent of the 18-to-24 year olds agree with the statement that: “Sexuality is a scale—it is possible to be somewhere in the middle.” More surprisingly, 66 percent of the 25-to-39 year olds agree. But 59 percent in the 40-59 age group does not.

The survey by YouGov interviewed the 1,632 people on Aug. 13th and 14th, 2015  in every corner of Great Britain.

Some of the intriguing questions were only asked of heterosexuals, such as:

“If the right person came along at the right time, do you think it is conceivable that you could have a sexual experience with a person of the same sex?”

For that question, it seemed to be about the same between Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, where 22 percent said “Very unlikely, but possible” and 11 percent in each group said, “Maybe if I really liked them.”

Not surprising, more women were open to same-sex experiences than men who identified as heterosexual, but again the youth were also more open to it: 42 percent of the 18-24 crowd and 40 percent of the 25-39 group.

A lot of the results were measured using a modified  Kinsey scale, invented by Alfred Kinsey in the 1940s which rates sexual orientation from 0 (as total heterosexual) to 6 as completely heterosexual. The “perfect bisexual” in the middle would be 3.

YouGovGraphic-2015

Interestingly, the 23 percent of the people who rated themselves as 1 on the Kinsey scale admitted to same-sex relationships, and 52 percent of those who rated themselves as a 2 (which leans toward the heterosexual side of the scale).

Six percent of those who rated themselves as completely heterosexual (zero) on the Kinsey scale said they have experienced sexual relations with the same-sex.

Here are a few bisexual-specific surprises:

* Of the people who identified as bisexual, 89 percent had same-sex relations, but 11 percent did not.

* Most bisexuals did not rate themselves as 3 (directly in the middle) on the Kinsey scale.

* Most of the bisexuals skewed themselves in the 2 and 3 (toward the heterosexual side) of the Kinsey scale rather than toward the homosexual side.

* In some neighborhoods and areas of England people either preferred to not identify their sexuality or identified as “no sexuality” more than they did as bisexual.

* Only 4 people who identified as bisexual were found in London

Each generation of people see their sexuality as less fixed in stone. The 18-24 group had 43 percent of them in non-binary areas between 1 and 5 in the Kinsey scale, and 52 percent put themselves at one end or the other.

YouGov concluded, “Clearly, these figures are not measures of active bisexuality – overall, 89 percent of the population describes themselves as heterosexual – but putting yourself at level 1 allows for the possibility of homosexual feelings and experiences. 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 percent more likely to say they could than level 0s.”

Click here to read the complete study

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About Author

Mike Szymanski

Mike Szymanski has written about bisexual issues since 1989 and has one of the longest-running regular bisexual columns as the National Bisexuality Examiner. He came out as bisexual in a cover story of Genre magazine, which resulted in more than 50 television appearances, including Ricki Lake, Phil Donahue Show and 20/20. Szymanski won the Lambda Literary Award in 2007 for co-authoring an informative humor book “The Bisexual’s Guide to the Universe: Quips, Tips and Lists for Those Who Go Both Ways.”

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