Metro Weekly

1 in 3 young Americans aren’t “100% heterosexual”

A surprising number of people have some degree of bisexuality

Image: Alex Prolmos / Flickr

Image: Alex Prolmos / Flickr

One-third of young Americans — and one fifth of all adults — wouldn’t describe themselves as “completely heterosexual.”

That’s the findings of a new survey by YouGov, designed to mimic a similar survey conducted in Britain earlier this month. YouGov used the Kinsey Scale, asking participants to choose a number between 0 and 6 to best represent their sexuality — 0 is exclusively heterosexual, 6 is exclusively homosexual.

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Of those surveyed, 78% of Americans consider themselves totally straight. Curiously, only 4% stated they were totally gay — bisexuality makes up a much larger portion of American sexuality.

In terms of age, younger people are much more likely to be sexually fluid than their elders. Of those aged 18-29, 29% consider themselves some degree of bisexual — only 2 percent are completely gay or lesbian. Compare that to those over 65, where a mere 7% of those asked had some degree of bisexuality (only 2-3% of those asked were gay or lesbian).

While it would seem that older generations are much more rigid in their sexuality, bisexuality — to any degree — is also prevalent in the 30-44 age range. Here, a quarter of those asked considered themselves bisexual to some degree — that makes sense, given given society became more sexually liberal during the ’70s and ’80s.

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Perhaps the most interesting part of the survey is that even those who considered themselves completely straight had dabbled in sex with the same gender. For straight women, 15% have had a same-sex experience. That drops to 8% for straight men — if you’ve fantasized about making out with a straight person, women are twice as likely to be successful as men.

Curiously, here in the U.S. we seem much less sexually liberal than our relatives across the pond. A similar study in the UK found that over half of all young Brits (18-24) had some degree of bisexuality or were gay/lesbian. For the country as a whole, that number stands at 28%.

Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.

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