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Americans are far more open to same-sex experiences as rates double

Bea Mitchell June 1, 2016

Researchers have found that people in the US are far more open to same-sex encounters than ever before.

The research, published in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour, looked at survey data from around 30,000 people between 1973 and 2014. People answered questions about their sexual behaviour and attitudes to same-sex experiences, TIME reports.

The General Social Survey showed that the number of US citizens who had had a same-sex encounter doubled between 1990 and 2014 for both men and women. Men rose from 4.5% in 1990 to 8.2% in 2014 and women 3.6% to 8.7% over the same period.

The percentage of people who have had sex with both men and women increased from 3.1% in 1990 to 7.7% in 2014.

Study author Jean Twenge said that the increases aren’t just driven by people who identify as gay or lesbian, but by those who have had sex with people of both sexes.

“What we’re seeing is this movement toward more sexual freedom,” she said.

“There’s more freedom for people to do what they want without following the traditional, often now seen as outdated, social rules about who you’re supposed to have sex with and when.”

“Overall, it suggests that our sexuality has become much more free and open, that Americans feel much more freedom to express themselves sexually in a way that they see fit.”

The highest increases in same-sex experiences were found in the Midwest and South, while coastal areas had steadier rates.

“These more traditional rules around same-sex behavior,” Dr Twenge added, “have faded away.”

Meanwhile, the number of men having unprotected sex in America has risen over 10% in the last decade, a new survey has revealed.

The National HIV Behavioral Surveillance Survey was conducted in 21 cities across the country in 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2014 and asked more than 1,000 men if they used a condom on their last sexual encounter.

More: Same-sex, Sex, survey, US, US

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