Researchers Just Made An 'Astonishing' Finding About Americans' Sexuality

The way we openly identify is changing.
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The Centers for Disease Control has released a new study that offers insight into American sexuality. The most noteworthy finding: the changing way Americans view their sexual identities.

The study sought to provide estimates about sexual behavior, sexual attraction and sexual orientation nationally among men and women between 18 and 44 years old using the 2011-2013 National Survey of Family Growth. The CDC selected data from 9,175 adults of various demographics who participated in computer-assisted interviews.

The findings include:

  • Women aged 25–44 were more likely to say they were heterosexual or straight and less likely to say they were bisexual compared with women aged 18–24. Among men aged 18–44, no such pattern by age was seen.

  • Almost three times as many women (17.4%) reported any same-sex contact in their lifetime compared with men (6.2%) aged 18–44.

  • 75.9% of women and 88.6% of men aged 18–24 said they were attracted “only to the opposite sex.”

While the study faced some limitations -- such as sample size and data collection challenges -- the findings are still striking to some.

"I've never seen that figure [88.6% of men...] below 90 percent," Ritch Savin-Williams, a developmental psychology professor at Cornell University and author on gender orientation, told "There's a progression away from straightness, if you will."

"It's just astonishing -- although I'm not surprised," he added. "[W]omen now have greater permission to say they have some sexual attraction to other women."

Read the full study on

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