Apparently, the next generation is getting rid of both gender and sexual orientation labels, opting not to restrict themselves to a particular box.
A new YouGov survey of 1,632 British adults revealed at 1 in 2 young people say that they’re not 100 per cent heterosexual.
Meaning, half of them could potentially see themselves falling for a member of the opposite sex.
Thanks to a widespread (and overdue) embrace of homosexual culture, a celebration of LGTB rights, and an invitation that it’s now totally acceptable to experiment with members of the same sex, today’s young people are growing up with an open mind when it comes to their sexuality.
But they don’t need to be so rigidly defined as “straight” or “gay,” thank you very much.
When asked to plot themselves on a ‘sexuality scale,’ 23 per cent of British people surveyed choose something other than 100 per cent heterosexual – with 49 per cent of 18-24-year-olds among this group.
The Kinsey scale used plots individuals on a range of sexual dispositions from exclusively heterosexual at 0 through to exclusively homosexual at 6. Foregoing the large number of methods in the original study, YouGov simply asked the participants to place themselves on the sexuality scale.
According to the research, moving further away from ‘completely heterosexual’ (0) towards the midpoint (3, or ‘completely bisexual’) increases the chance that you have had a sexual experience with a member of the opposite sex.
Overall, 72 per cent of the British public place themselves at the completely heterosexual end of the scale, 4 per cent put themselves in the completely homosexual end, and 19 per cent believe that they’re somewhere in between (which is classed as bisexual in varying degrees by Kinsey). Of the people who identify with the “in between” area, the majority are closer to the heterosexual end, 2 per cent are directly in the middle, and 2 per cent are closer to the homosexual end.
Not surprisingly, with each generation, people increasingly view their sexuality as not something that’s set in stone, steering clear of keeping it black or white.
Or labeling it at all, for that matter.
When it comes to the 18-24 year-olds, 43 per cent identify with the non-binary area between 1 and 5, and 52 place themselves at one end or the other. Of these, only 46 per cent say they’re completely heterosexual and 6 per cent as completely homosexual.
To be clear, 89 per cent of the respondents described themselves as heterosexual, but placing yourself at a 1 allows for more of an open mind when it comes to the chance of homosexual feelings and experiences.
In a further set of questions, respondents were asked whether they 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, that is). Level 1s were at least 35 per cent more likely to say they could than level 0s.
The findings also reveal that people of all generations now accept the idea that sexual orientation exists along a continuum rather than a binary, black or white choice between “straight” or “gay.” Overall 60 per cent of heterosexuals support this notion, as do 73 per cent of homosexuals. Just 28 per cent of heterosexuals believe that ‘there is no middle ground – you are either heterosexual or you are not’.
Either way, such findings would have looked a lot different 20 years ago.
This shift could be the result of massive pubic figures like Miley Cyrus, Cara Delevingne, and Kristen Stewart recently refusing to categorize their sexuality and admitting they like all genders.
Or the phenomenon that is Ruby Rose, whose beauty seems to have the power to make even the “straightest” female question her sexuality. The fact that the there are now openly gay athletes in the NFL, NBA, and – as of last week – Baseball (not the MLB yet, but professional none the less) doesn’t hurt the cause either.
Either way, it’s probably not just in the UK where people are moving toward a more fluid mindset when it comes to defining their sexuality –and there’s nothing wrong with that.
In a world full of options, who says we have to choose just one?
Let us know on our Facebook page if you think Canada would feel the same way…