Originally published on Advocate.com August 18 2015 9:32 AM ET
A stunning survey by YouGov UK has found that 23 percent of British people surveyed do not consider themselves exclusively heterosexual. As many as 49 percent of adults aged 18-24 described themselves as “not 100 percent heterosexual,” indicating bisexuality is more common among younger adults, who enjoy more sexual fluidity.
The survey used a modified Kinsey scale to measure sexuality by asking participants to place themselves on a range between “exclusively heterosexual” and “exclusively homosexual.” Kinsey’s groundbreaking study of human sexuality found that 10 percent of males were “more or less exclusively homosexual for at least three years between the ages of 16 and 55.” The British survey found that four percent of total respondents identified as “completely homosexual.”
Younger adults tend to be more willing to experiment with members of the same-sex than older adults, according to the survey. Six percent of young adults classified themselves as completely homosexual, but 43 percent identified as neither exclusively homosexual or heterosexual.
While most of respondents still identified as heterosexual or homosexual, the scale numbered between zero (completely heterosexual) and six (completely homosexual) allows for subjects to be more specific about their sexuality and indicate that they have had experiences or attractions outside of their declared identity.
“Clearly, these figures are not measures of active bisexuality – overall, 89 percent of the population describes themselves as heterosexual – but putting yourself at level one allows for the possibility of homosexual feelings and experiences,” researchers wrote. “More than anything, it indicates an increasingly open minded approach to sexuality.”
“In a further set of questions asking if respondents could conceivably be attracted to, have sex with or have a relationship with someone of the same sex (if the right person came along at the right time), level ones were at least 35 percent more likely to say they could than level zeroes.”
According to the research, the closer heterosexual identified respondents rated themselves closer to a three (completely bisexual), the chance that they have had a sexual experience with a member of the opposite sex increased. The survey found 23 percent of those at level one have had a sexual encounter with a member of the opposite sex, while 52 percent of people at level two have had such an experience.
Read the full results of the survey here.