Americans Are Now More Bi-Curious Than Ever, Study Suggests

Photographed by Natalia Mantini.
Over the past 20 years, it seems Americans have become a lot more open to same-sex experiences. According to a new study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, the number of Americans who say they've had sexual experiences with someone of the same sex doubled between 1990 and 2014.

The research, conducted by researchers from Florida Atlantic University, San Diego State University, and Widener University, examined survey data from 33,728 Americans from 1973 to 2014. In the survey, collected by the General Social Survey, people were asked both about their own sexual behavior and about their attitudes towards same-sex experiences.

The researchers found that the percentage of Americans who say they've had sex with someone of the same sex has just about doubled from 1990 to 2014 for both men (4.5% in 1990 to 8.2% in 2014) and women (3.6% in 1990 to 8.7% in 2014). Overall, the percentage of people who say they've had sex with people of both sexes went from 3.1 % in 1990 to 7.7% in 2014. However, the researchers also noted that this increase might not necessarily be driven by people who identify as gay or lesbian.

"Much of that increase was due to more individuals having sex with both men and women (bisexual behavior), with little consistent change in those having sex exclusively with same-sex partners," they wrote.

We're also happy to report that the researchers found a dramatic increase in the percentage of Americans who are accepting of these sexual interactions. In 1973, only 11% of Americans thought there was nothing wrong with sexual relations between two adults of the same sex. In 1990, that number was still only 13%. But by 2014, 49% of overall people surveyed and 63% of millennials (in this study, those born between 1982 and 1996) felt that "same-sex relations" were "not wrong at all."

That increase in acceptance, the researchers said, is most likely the key to the uptick in same-sex sexual behavior.

"With the stigma around same-sex behavior fading, people may be more willing to engage in it," the researchers wrote. Not only that, fading stigmas also mean that more people are willing to be honest about their sexual experiences.

The study also cited increased visibility of non-heterosexual people in media as a possible reason for changes in behavior and for more people being honest about reporting such experiences.

Either way, the study says that as a country, we have come a long way not only in terms of simply tolerating same-sex relations, but we've also become more open to having them. And if you ask us, increased tolerance and widening sexual horizons can only be good things.

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