A study into female sexuality shows 26.5% of women surveyed are bisexual – and many do express a preference for one gender or another.

Research carried out by Biscuit, a new website for bisexual woman, states the figure rises to 38% when taking into account straight women who have at one point engaged in some form of sexual activity with a same-sex partner, often as part of a group, and gay women who have sometimes had sex with men.

The survey was conducted over four weeks in February and March. Respondents were recruited anonymously via social media channels. The results were compiled once 1,000 respondents had completed the questions.

The research showed many women in the 16-24 and 35-44 age range appear to support the statement that pigeonholing one’s sexuality is an outmoded and irrelevant exercise. And many women, especially those over 44, were concerned that there was no category for those who, when young, had conformed to society’s expectations of heterosexuality and had come out as lesbian in later life.

Six percent of women surveyed said they have never had, or fantasised about having, sex with a woman, 12% stated they have undertaken limited same-sex sexual contact (e.g. the occasional snog or fondle).

Just under 12% revealed they have had sex with women and men, but more so with men. Meanwhile 7.3% said they have sex with women and men, but more so with women.

Charlotte Dingle, editor-in-chief of Biscuit, said: “While not necessarily employing the rigour of a serious academic study, Biscuit’s survey into female sexuality does seem to bear out anecdotal evidence that women are increasingly viewing their own sexuality as fluid. I believe that the old definitions of ‘gay’, ‘straight’ and ‘bi’ are increasingly irrelevant in a society in which an individual’s sexual and gender identity is becoming more and more complex and diverse.”