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US adults reporting homosexual experience doubles, study shows

/ 10:41 AM June 02, 2016

WASHINGTON—The percentage of American adults who said they’ve had a homosexual experience has doubled since the 1990s, according to a study published Wednesday, indicating a rapid change in cultural attitudes toward sexuality.

The study, based on a survey of more than 30,000 adults and published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, also shows that acceptance of homosexuality has increased among all generations, with Millennials the most accepting.

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“These large shifts in both attitudes and behavior occurred over just 25 years, suggesting rapid cultural change,” study co-author Jean Twenge, professor of psychology at San Diego State University, said in a news release.

These changes indicate “that American culture has become more individualistic and more focused on the self and on equality,” she said.

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“Without the strict social rules common in the past, Americans now feel more free to have sexual experiences they desire.”

According to the data, the percentage of men who had sex with at least one other man increased from 4.5 percent to 8.2 percent between 1990 and 2014.

The percentage of women who said they had sex with at least one woman jumped from 3.6 percent to 8.7 percent in the same period.

The percentage of adults who reported having had sex with both men and women grew from 3.1 percent to 7.7 percent.

Among Millennials — which the study considered as adults between ages 18 and 29 in the 2010s — 7.5 percent of men and 12.2 percent of women reported having had a same-sex experience.

Female homosexual experiences were more likely to occur among young women, while age doesn’t appear to be a factor for male homosexual experiences, the study said.

Public attitudes toward homosexuality have also changed significantly in the United States, which legalized gay marriage a year ago.

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From 1973 to 1990, the percentage of adults who believed “sexual relations between two adults of the same sex (was) not wrong at all” rose from 11 percent to 13 percent.

But by 2014, the acceptance has risen to 49 percent of all adults and 63 percent of Millennials.

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TAGS: Archives of Sexual Behavior, gay, homosexual gay experience, homosexuality, LGBT
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