Bisexual identity on the rise?

Another statistic suggests more young people are identifying as bisexual than as lesbian or gay.

In the past identity surveys that separate out bisexual from lesbian and gay identity have often shown more gay and lesbian people than bi people. The UK’s Office for National Statistics for example when first publishing figures on this question has tended to show around 1% gay and 0.5% bi.

However the 2015 figures from the United States’ Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) – a nationwide survey run by the Center for Disease Control – reports more bis than gays among young people in the USA.

Of states included a question about sexual minority orientation in the 2015 survey, a study published this month in theĀ JAMA Pediatrics journal notes, “a weighted mean of 12.7% of students identified as sexual minorities. Among students in these states, 2.3% identified as gay or lesbian, 6.4% as bisexual, and 4.0% as not sure of their orientation.”

The 4% is interesting as it may include people who strongly identified with other labels than bi such as pansexual or omnisexual.

The 6.4% alone is a greater proportion of young people than in recent findings in the UK from YouGov which found 43% of under 25s placed themselves in the 1 to 5 range on a Kinsey sexuality scale. Yet, perhaps reflecting social pressure toward the more acceptable identities or toward a non-confrontational avoidance of a particular label, only 2% in that survey had owned the “bi” label.