Although these numbers have inched up in recent years, researchers have long noted that women exhibit more flexibility in their s.e.xual preferences than men.
The findings, based on surveys completed from 2011 to 2013, provide an up-to-date look at how this is playing out in younger people. And almost 7 percent say they’re gay or bis.e.xual compared to 4 percent of men.
Shedding new light on se.x.uality in U.S. adults under age 45, new research reveals women are almost three times as likely to report same-s.e.x intimacy as men.
And almost 7 percent say they’re gay or bis.e.xual compared to 4 percent of men.
Stephanie Sanders, an associate director of the Kinsey Institute for Research in S.e.x, Gender, and Reproduction at Indiana University, said the findings point to another trend: more women describing themselves as bis.e.xual.
Almost 6 percent of women surveyed voiced bis.e.xual tendencies, compared to slightly more than 1 percent who said they were lesbian.
“As bis.e.xuality is becoming more visible, it appears more women with bis.e.xual behaviour and attractions are embracing that label over a lesbian one,” said Sanders, who was not involved in the research.
The new report, released Jan. 7, was conducted by the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Centre for Health Statistics.
Researchers analysed survey responses of nearly 9,200 women and men ages 18 to 44. This included people from Generation X, and Generation Y, or millennials.
By tracking sexual behaviour, researchers say they can better comprehend risks for s.e.xually transmitted diseases and HIV.
Some key findings in the report:
Among women, 17 percent reported having intimate same-sex contact in their lives, compared to 6 percent of men.
Slightly more men than women described themselves as gay almost 2 percent versus 1.3 percent.
Six percent of women and 2 percent of men said they were bis.e.xual. In a 2006-2010 survey, less than 4 percent of women and just over 1 percent of men identified as bisexual.
“The visibility and recognition of bis.e.xuality as a sexual orientation has been growing recently, particularly among younger people,” Sanders said. “Research suggests that the women may have been more likely to label themselves as lesbians in the past and are more likely to use the bis.e.xual label now.”
She praised the study but cautioned that the statistics may be somewhat misleading. For women, for example, the report defines same-sex intimacy as “any s.e.xual experience of any kind with another female,” but same-s.e.x intimacy for men was only defined as oral or anal s.e.x.
“My research and that of others shows that people vary in what behaviours they count as s.e.x,” she said.
Sanders also hinted that the report may hide the truth about male sexuality. “Male same-se.x behaviour has been more taboo, regulated and stigmatised than has that of women,” she said. “Men may be more reluctant than women to report same-s.e.x behaviour.”
Biology, of course, plays a role in s.e.xuality. Studies of sexual arousal suggest that women tend to be turned on by more varied stimuli than men, said Brian Mustanski, an associate professor with the department of medical social sciences at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.
“Surveys show that women tend to be more accepting of being gay and bisexual, and we certainly live in a culture that tends to eroticise the idea of s.e.x between women,” said Mustanski, who had no role in the new study. “When you couple these factors with biological tendencies, it’s not surprising we see more bisexuality in women.”
Source – Health24