Two thirds of 16 to 22-year-olds say they are only attracted to the opposite sex

This contrasts with 88 per cent of baby boomers

Rachel Hosie
Wednesday 27 September 2017 13:06 BST

In a large survey of attitudes amongst Generation Z, it has been revealed that 66 per cent of 16 to 22-year-olds say they are only attracted to the opposite sex.

This is in stark contrast to older generations, with 88 per cent of baby boomers (aged 52 to 71) and 85 per cent of Generation X (aged 38 to 51) identifying as purely heterosexual.

However this doesn’t mean one-third of 16 to 22-year-olds class themselves as gay or bisexual.

In fact, 14 per cent say they’re “mostly attracted to the opposite sex,” nine per cent “equally attracted to both sexes,” three per cent “mostly attracted to the same sex,” three per cent “only attracted to the same sex,” and five per cent preferring not to say.

The statistics come from a BBC study conducted with pollsters Ipsos Mori.

They quizzed 3,007 people - 1,003 from Generation Z, 660 people in Generation Y, 667 in Generation X and 677 baby boomers.

The findings suggest that younger generations are more open to different sexualities, with one in ten 16 to 22-year-olds being equally attracted to men and women.

One of those is 16-year-old Andy, who came out during a BBC Newsbeat debate on the report’s findings.

“This is the first time I’ve ever admitted it in public. I’m bisexual,” he said.

But despite younger generations’ openness to different sexual orientations, Andy says he still has to deal with other people trying to change him.

“It’s been really difficult for me because there is so much stereotyping,” he explained. “It’s not something I can change. I truly believe it’s the way I was born, and I’m sick of people telling me I have to be a different way.”

The researchers also found that contrary to beliefs widely held by older generations, Generation Z’s top concerns aren’t social media, going out and the internet, but rather family, partners and education.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in