This article has been making the rounds:
“A new study by trend forecasting agency J. Walter Thompson Innovation Group found that only 48 percent of 13-20-year-olds identify as “exclusively heterosexual,” compared to 65 percent of millennials aged 21 to 34.
On a scale of zero to six, where zero signified “completely straight” and six meant “completely homosexual,” more than a third of the young demographic chose a number between one and five, indicating that they were bisexual to some degree. Only 24 percent of their older counterparts identified this way.”
This scale of 0 to 6 is the Kinsey scale, by the way. I have mixed feelings about this report. My friends are generally laughing at it because “look at all the special snowflakes,” but I think it’s possible that these teens are telling the truth. It’s very hard to get scientific evidence of sexual orientation because it’s so subjective, but it’s true that lots of straight people have that one experience with someone of the same sex and maybe people are giving it more weight than they used to. It’s hard to say where to draw the line around bisexuality. Does a Kinsey 1 or a Kinsey 5 count as a bisexual, even though it was only one or two experiences outside of their usual behaviour? (I would say no.) Does one have to be right in the middle to be bisexual? (I would say yes, but that’s open to debate.) Traditionally I believe that most people identified as straight even if they were a Kinsey 1 or 2, and now it looks like more of those people are identifying as bisexual (or pansexual or whatever).
I struggle with this a bit myself. I am a Kinsey 4 — “predominantly homosexual, but more than incidentally heterosexual.” I would guess that a Kinsey 4 would generally identify as bisexual, and perhaps I should. It’s complicated because even though I used to do a lot of things with men, I never really got much out of it, and I never felt the feelings that I feel for women. There is no doubt that I much prefer women over men, and that I’ll never be with a man again, so I call myself lesbian. It seems to make the most sense.
I’m not prepared to dismiss these survey respondents as “special snowflakes” who are trying to be cool by not being straight when I know it’s pretty complicated.
“When it comes to gender, over a third of Generation Z (as I guess we have to call them now) strongly agreed that gender did not define a person as much as it used to—only 28 percent of millennials felt similarly. Over half, 56 percent, of Gen Z said that they knew someone who went by gender neutral pronouns such as “they,” “them,” or “ze,” compared to 43 percent of people 28 to 34.”
The thing about “gender doesn’t define a person like it used to” is really vague and I’m not going to pay much attention to it. But check this out—over half of Gen Z knows someone who goes by gender neutral pronouns. The next generation is pretending that human biology doesn’t exist and that loads of people are neither male nor female, despite their actual sexed bodies. I wonder how this will play out?