Even More Bisexuals

A new YouGov survey suggests both bisexuality and bi identity are becoming more common in the UK.

In 2015 the research company grabbed headlines with a survey that asked people about their choice of label, and about where they would place themselves on a Kinsey Scale sexuality measure – from 0 (straight) to 6 (gay) through various intervening experiences of being bisexual from 1 to 5.

It’s not a perfect measure – it assumes gender binaries and constant gender identity, and it can’t represent some aspects of sexuality like kink and BDSM being more important than the sex of your partner. But it’s easily understood by most people even if they haven’t had cause to think much about these issues, so as a question it works nicely for YouGov’s model of online surveys.

In 2015 they reported that 72% of respondents placed themselves at position 0 on the scale (straight), 4% at 6 (gay), and some 19% planted themselves somewhere in between (the other 5% refused, replied “other”, don’t know etc).

Up from 1 in 5 to 1 in 4.

By 2019 this has shifted to 66% at 0, still 4% at 6, and still 5% not fitting the scale – that 1-to-5 bi range has grown to 25%. As seen in the graph below – that big “zero score” wedge is still dominant of course but there is movement along the scale as each of the “someplace under the bi umbrella” segments of the chart grows a little.

Of people self-labelling in 2019 as heterosexual, 41% of respondents went on to agree that if the right person came along at the right time they might be attracted to someone of the same gender. 35% said that could develop into a relationship.

That included 10% of the people who agreed with the statement that there was no “middle ground” in sexuality – that everyone is either gay or straight.


BCN issue 156 cover

This first appeared in BCN magazine issue 156, July/August 2019.