A new study reveals that nearly one-third of young Brits consider themselves something other than 100% heterosexual.
In a survey commissioned by the BBC, 14% of 16-22-year-olds reported being “mostly” attracted to the opposite sex, while another 9% claimed to be equally attracted to both sexes. (The survey posited gender is a binary, not a spectrum.) Only 66% identified as purely heterosexual—a stark shift from Baby Boomers, 88% of whom labeled themselves totally straight.
Polling company Ipsos Mori surveyed a thousand people about their sexual orientation, including Baby Boomers (1960-1980), Gen Xers (1961-1981), millennials (1980s to early ‘90s), and Gen-Zers (1990s to mid 2000s).
The percentage identifying as bisexual steadily increased the younger the respondents were: In Gen Z, 24% reported being mostly attracted to the opposite sex or equally attracted to both sexes. That compares to 18% of Gen-Yers and 8% of Gen-Xers.
Only 1% of Baby Boomers reported being attracted to both men and women.
This shift is more likely due to comfort with acknowledging the subtleties of sexuality—and a change in understanding of bisexuality—than a sudden boom in queer people.
It’s an encouraging sign, but there’s still much work to be done: Bisexual people comprise the largest segment of the LGBT community, but are also most likely to be closeted. Many report falling victim to “double stigma,” from both gay and straight peers. And numerous studies indicate bisexuals have higher rates of depression, substance abuse and other negative health outcomes.