But this is not all just girls kissing girls in imitation of Madonna and Britney Spears; around half report genital contact, and around half of these in the past five years, so that overall nearly one in 20 women report a same-sex partner in the past five years.
But has there really been a change, or are women simply more willing to report what they get up to? Using some neat cross-checking, Natsal reckons that the change between and was partly due to more honest reporting, but the rise in and was all real. And it is clear that there is a lot of experimental activity — roughly, for each woman who has had a recent same-sex partner there are two more of the same age who have had some same-sex contact in their lives, but no partner in the past five years.
Men show a different pattern.
These 3 Gay Men Are in a Successful, Loving Triad Relationship — Here's How It Works
However, the picture shows a clear peak of lifetime same-sex experience for men aged around 60, and then a dramatic drop in those around 70, a pattern not seen in women. History might provide some explanation: Much younger men, meanwhile, would have come to adulthood in the more sober era of HIV.
Overall the proportion of people with same-sex experience is far higher than the proportion who identify themselves as gay and bisexual. This must mean that many same-sex contacts are by people who do not consider themselves gay or bisexual. And there is one characteristic that unites female and male same-sex experience: He died aged 59 in of an Aids-related illness in California.
Yet his legacy lives on. Because, if we consider possible transient same-sex behaviour, his rather wild stat-in-the-dark begins to look rather reasonable.
Identity aside, ten per cent of the population, it seems, could well be involved in same sex behaviour after all. Facebook Twitter Pinterest. Topics Sexuality The Observer. Reuse this content. Order by newest oldest recommendations.
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