A record 68 percent of British people think that gay sex is “not wrong at all,” according to newly released government research.

The British Social Attitudes Survey 2017, which was published earlier this month by the Government Equalities Office, also showed that an all-time low of 17 percent thought gay sex was “always” or “mostly” wrong. This figure stood at 50 percent of the British public back in 1998.


A Government Equalities Office graph shows historical opinions about gay sex
Statistics show that British people have steadily become more accepting of gay sex. (Government Equalities Office)

The percentage of people who think there is nothing wrong with same-sex relations has increased in every study since 1987, when just 11 percent of people approved of gay sex.

The gap between different generations was stark, with 80 percent of 18-to 24 year olds saying that gay sex was “not wrong at all.”

This compares to 29 percent of people aged 75 and over agreeing gay sex is “not wrong at all.”

British opinions on trans people are less progressive than towards gay sex

While a large majority of the British public seemingly feels comfortable with same-sex relationships, attitudes towards trans people were not as accepting in the survey.

A slim majority of people said that anti-trans prejudice was always wrong, at 52 percent.

However, 39 percent of people said that discriminating against trans people wasn’t always wrong.

“Women, younger respondents, and those with higher levels of education were more likely to say that prejudice against transgender people was ‘always’ or ‘mostly’ wrong.”

— The British Social Attitudes Survey 2017

Younger respondents were more likely to hold tolerant views than older people, the survey showed.

When it came to 18-to 24 year olds, 77 percent thought prejudice against trans people was “always” or “mostly” wrong.

Less than half of people aged 75 and over—48 percent—shared this opinion.

The survey also asked whether transitions for trans people were based on a superficial or temporary need, which 61 percent of respondents disagreed with.

Gay sex is one of the rights expected by activists such as these people kissing during the 15th LGBTI March with the slogan "Memory, Pride and Resistance for LGBTI persons rights" in Asuncion, on September 29, 2018
Younger people in Britain are more likely to think gay sex is acceptable. (NORBERTO DUARTE/AFP/Getty)

Just 15 percent thought this view was correct.

The survey reported that people who rejected anti-trans prejudice were more likely to be “women, younger respondents, and those with higher levels of education, household income and socioeconomic status.”

Survey comes as number of straight people in Britain falls

Research published last month by the Office for National Statistics showed a lower proportion of straight people in Britain than ever recorded.

The study found that in 2017, 93.2 percent of people identified as straight.

This figure was down from 93.4 percent in 2016, and down from 94.4 percent when the first numbers were collected in 2012.

The stats, which came from the government’s annual population survey, also showed that two percent of people in Britain are lesbian, gay or bisexual.

This equates to around 1.1 million people—the same proportion as in the 2016 release.

Respondents aged between 16 and 24 were more than twice as likely to identify as LGB, with 4.2 percent doing so.

This age group also had the highest proportion of people who defined their sexuality as “other,” at 0.9 percent, and who either refused to confirm their sexual orientation or said they didn’t know, at 5.3 percent.




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