Americans are sexually experimenting a lot more. The number of people reporting to having had at least one sexual partner of the same sex has dramatically increased since 1990, according to a recent study.
The study was based on data from the General Social Survey (GSS), a nationwide survey of representative sample of Americans, collected on a yearly or bi-yearly basis. The GSS has gauged Americans’ views on same-sex behavior since 1972 and asked participants to report whether they’ve had a same-sex experience since 1989.
The findings, published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behaviour, shows the number of Americans who had at least one same-sex partner doubled between the early 1990s and early 2010s. For women, the percentage of participants who reported having a sexual partner of the same-sex increased from 3.6% to 8.7%, and from 4.5% to 8.2% for men.
The increase in those same-sex experiences was consistently up across all age groups—well, except for those 60 and above.
The researchers believe the increase in same-sex experiences is largely driven by an increase in bisexual behavior, which was larger among women than men. The number of Americans who only had sexual experiences with members of the same sex remained constant.
Acceptance of same-sex experiences increased significantly since the early 1970s, when only 11 % of Americans believed that same-sex behavior was “not wrong at all.” By 2014, nearly half of Americans (49%) believed it was not wrong. The increase in acceptance was seen in all age groups.
While it’s obvious that more people would be willing to report and engage in same-sex experiences in a more accepting environment, researchers suggest other factors also come to play. They point to the rise in “hook-up” culture, the increased LGBT representation in the media, and advances in technology that makes it easier to find partners (from chat rooms to dating apps).