The Youngs, America’s most venerable (advertising) demographic, are having their first sexytimes at older ages, a new study that quizzed 15-24-year-olds on their penetration activities finds. Data compiled from 13,495 people between 2006-08 by the National Survey of Family Growth, billed as “the largest federal survey of sexual health and sexual behavior,” found “27 percent of young men and 29 percent of young women ages 15 to 24 say they’ve never had a sexual encounter. That’s compared to 2002, when 22 percent of both men and women said they had never had any sort of sex.” Fine. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE HOMOGAYGAYS?
The researchers took pains to separate a person’s sexual activity from his or her sexual identity. Women said they had more same-sex experiences than men, with 12.5 percent of women reporting a same-sex encounter, compared to 5.2 percent of men. Women are also more likely to say they are bisexual, with 3.5 percent of women identifying themselves that way, compared to 1.1 percent of man. By contrast, about the same number of men and women identify themselves as homosexual or gay: 1 percent of women and 1.7 percent of men.
Here come the disillusioned: Only 1 percent of women and less than 2 percent of men call themselves gay???
Actually, that statistic doesn’t surprise me much. We are, after all, talking about sexual identity, and identifying as gay or lesbian — literally, choosing those words to describe yourself — still doesn’t happen for many homos during the 15-24-year-old phase. That, and we all know about research’s common dilemma: plenty of folks who might identify as gay may not do so when asked by a scientist. (Though impressively, researchers did take steps to avoid that possibility: “When it’s time for the most delicate questions, the interviewer hands her laptop to the subject, who then listens to the questions on headphones.”)
And as we all know, just because you have gay sex doesn’t make you gay (… is what I tell straight guys).