There’s been an awful lot of discussion the past few weeks about supposedly “straight” folks and their prolific same-sex frolics. Yes. You heard me right. “Straight” people are engaging in the queer nasty. Boys with boys and girls with girls. Oh my! The world is coming to an end! Or, perhaps it’s just as sex researchers and thinkers have always said: sexuality is more fluid, more complex than socially “allowed for” by the tendency of our society to fit everything into two, nice and tidy boxes.
Adam and Eve, the North Carolina-based adult sex store, asked some telling questions in its “Great American Sex Survey“ in October. Surveying 1,000 people age 18 and up, they found that 17 percent of self-defined heterosexuals admit to being attracted to someone of the same gender. Astonishingly, 36 percent of those people said they had acted on that attraction in some sexual way.
Indiana University’s National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, billed as the largest and most comprehensive survey on American sexual habits, surveyed nearly 6,000 people nationwide ages 14-94. They found that by age 50, 15 percent of all men had at least one oral sexual encounter with another man. Only 8 percent of men and 7 percent of women ages 14-94 self-identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual.
Last, but not least, we head over to the U.K. A researcher there says he’s found that teen British boys are engaging in more same-sex “snogging.” Writing for the journal, Archives of Sexual Behavior, Eric Anderson says 89 percent of British university and high school students he surveyed has kissed a male friend on the lips at some point in their lives. Additionally, 37 percent of his study participants said they had engaged in “sustained” kissing with another dude. Every boy and man in his survey identified as straight.
Anderson says the trend is indicative of shifting attitudes on friendship and intimacy, a decrease in homophobia and a move toward different notions and ideals of masculinity.
But, there’s just one problem with Anderson’s study. Although he bills the research (consisting of interviews and surveys and the such) as “in-depth,” his sample size turned out to be a grand, astonishing total of…wait for it…145 university and high school students. Anderson’s results are interesting, but we’d love to see a much larger sample size. Such a larger study could provide results more representative of the greater population. : :