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Half of young people don't identify as straight

A new survey has found that British young people aged between 18-24 are seriously fluid when it comes to sexuality

Everyone is well aware that sexuality exists on a spectrum, rather than being something you can put in a box and neatly label. Sexual fluidity is something teens grow up with now – Kristen Stewart and Cara Delevingne refuse to put labels on their sexuality, Shamir says he has “no gender, no sexuality, and no fucks to give", while Miley Cyrus openly discusses her "fluidity". Increasingly, young people are rejecting pigeonholes.

YouGov asked 1632 people to put themselves on a Kinsey scale of sexuality from 0 (exclusively heterosexual) to 6 (exclusively homosexual). Among the total population, 72 per cent of adults defined themselves as exclusively heterosexual, 4 per cent ranked themselves as exclusively homosexual, with 19 per cent somewhere on the spectrum.

But when it came to 18-24 year olds, things were a lot less black and white. Only 46 per cent of them would rank themselves as exclusively heterosexual. This isn’t because more young people are gay – still only 6 per cent would identify as being exclusively homosexual. They’re all somewhere on the spectrum in-between the two.

YouGov concluded: “Clearly the figures are not measures of active bisexuality, but putting yourself at level 1 allows for the possibility of homosexual feelings and experiences. More than anything, it indicates an increasingly open minded approach to sexuality.

“In a further set of questions asking if respondents could conceivably be attracted to, have sex with or have a relationship with someone of the same sex (if the right person came along at the right time), Level 1s were at least 35 per cent more likely to say they could than Level 0s.” 

Maybe this comes from having more visible LGBT figures in pop culture, maybe young people feel confident to explore their sexuality than previous generations have. Whatever the reason, it shows that we’re growing up part of a country increasingly comfortable with the idea that sexuality is not something we need to make a concrete decision on.