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New Study Shows More Americans Are Having Gay Sex

"What we're seeing is a movement toward more sexual freedom."

New research from Widener, Florida Atlantic, and San Diego State Universities points to not only an increase in same-sex experimentation among American adults, but also an increased acceptance of such behavior.

The study, published this week in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, analyzed data collected over the course of 40 years from 1973-2014. It included responses from over 30,000 Americans who were asked about their sexual behavior and their attitudes towards same-sex relationships.

The results show that the number of Americans who have had sex with someone of the same sex doubled from 1990 to 2014 for both men (4.5% to 8.2%) and women (3.6% to 8.7%). Study author Jean Twenge of San Diego State University says the interesting thing about these results is that they don’t appear to be driven solely by individuals who identify as LGBT; in fact, the number of people who reported having sex with both men and women shot up from 3.1% to 7.7% in the same time frame.

“What we’re seeing is a movement toward more sexual freedom,” says Twenge. “There’s more freedom for people to do what they want without following the traditional, often now seen as outdated, social rules about who you’re supposed to have sex with and when.”

The survey also analyzed trends in public opinion towards same-sex activity. In 1973, 11% of Americans believed there was no problem with it. In 1990, the number inched upward to just 13%. However, by 2014, the number soared to 49%, with 63% of Millenials reporting that they saw nothing wrong at all with nontraditional sexual behavior.

Study author Brooke Wells of Widener University says the data proves that “more and more young people today are sort of rejecting those very strict labels of gay, straight, or bisexual and saying, ’I’m fluid or queer.'”

Twenge adds that “Overall, it suggests that our sexuality has become much more free and open, that Americans feel much more freedom to express themselves sexually in a way that they see fit.”

Texas native with a penchant for strong margaritas, early Babs and tastefully executed side-eye.