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Culture

Generation Z: Only two thirds of young people identify as 'exclusively heterosexual'

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Exposure to social media and information on the internet has led to a growing number of young people who say their sexuality is not a fixed and binary identity, a new study suggests

Anna Freeman

06 Julio 2018 13:00

We have come further in the fight for equality and the destruction of binarised identities than some may think. Research figures suggest that young people are very open to sexual experimentation and aren’t sticking to defined labels anymore.

Just two thirds of Generation Z identify as solely heterosexual, which is a huge shift from previous generations, a new study has found.

Research by Ipsos Mori found that 66 percent of young people - aged between 16 and 22 - said they are ‘exclusively heterosexual’. This is the lowest figure of any generation polled previously.

Millennials have a slightly higher number of people who only identify as exclusively heterosexual. 71 percent say they are straight. 85 percent of those in ‘Gen X’, and 88 percent of baby boomers.

Social media is playing a big part in this shift, the research group suggested, with young people more likely to be aware of different sexualities because of the internet.

Hannah Shrimpton, a co-author of the report, told the Daily Telegraph that there was a ‘hugely greater exposure to communications on the variety of lifestyles available to young people today through social technology’

‘In particular, this generation of young has grown up at a time when gender as a simple binary and fixed identity has been questioned much more widely,’ she continued, ‘this is new, and will affect wider views of gender, sexuality and much broader aspects of identity.’

The authors argued the ‘liberal context’ in which gay relationships are seen as acceptable has led young people having a ‘less binary view of sexuality’. Three in five British 15 to 16 year olds think sexuality is a scale and that it is possible to be somewhere in the middle, the research shows.

Via the Daily Telegraph.

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