new study published in the current issue of the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior finds that Americans accept and engage in same-sex experiences more than ever. Using survey data collected since 1972 by the General Social Survey involving more than 33,000 participants, the researchers report that "same-sex sexual experience has doubled, and acceptance of same-sex sexual experience has quadrupled." From the study's press release:A
The percentage of men who have had sex with at least one man increased from 4.5 percent to 8.2 percent; the percentage of women who have had sex with at least one woman increased from 3.6 percent to 8.7 percent. The percentage of adults who have had both male and female partners (bisexual behavior) increased from 3.1 percent to 7.7 percent. Among 18 to 29 year olds in the 2010s (Millennials), 7.5 percent of men have had a gay sexual experience, and 12.2 percent of women have had a lesbian sexual experience. The increases in same-sex experiences were largest among whites and in the South and Midwest.
Since more Americans are evidently engaging in same-sex sexuality, it is not too surprising that acceptance of it has substantially increased:
Those who believed that "sexual relations between two adults of the same sex" was "not wrong at all" hardly changed between 1973 and 1990 (from 11 percent to 13 percent). Acceptance then steadily rose, reaching a near majority in 2014 at 49 percent. Among 18 to 29 year olds, acceptance rose from 15 percent in 1990 to 63 percent (a clear majority) in 2014.
Based on their findings, the researchers conclude that the "cultural change of the last few decades extends beyond simple tolerance of gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals and their civil rights to include acceptance of same-sex sexuality and the freedom to engage in same-sex sexuality–or at least the freedom to report one has done so on a survey. Either way, Americans have experienced a fundamental shift toward acceptance of same-sex sexual behavior and a greater willingness to engage in it."