Number of young black women in US identifying as bisexual has ‘trebled in past decade’

Figure nearly three times higher than researchers found in same survey a decade ago

Maya Oppenheim
Women's Correspondent
Thursday 13 June 2019 08:45 BST
Pride Month

Almost a quarter of young black women in the US identify as bisexual – a proportion which is nearly three times higher than it was a decade ago.

The General Social Survey, which is carried out every couple of years, asks people about their attitudes on matters spanning from race relations to drug use.

It started including a question on sexual identity from 2008 onwards.

The survey found 23 per cent of black women in the 18 to 34 age group identified as bisexual.

In contrast, in the decade the survey has included a question on sexual identity, the rates of identification among gay men, lesbian women and bisexual men in America have not changed greatly.

Bisexual identifying women account for almost all of the growth among those who say they are lesbian, gay or bisexual.

Out of all of the women who responded to the 2018 study, more than one in 18 identified as bisexual. On the other hand, only one in 65 did ten years ago.

The proportion of those women who were bisexual was much higher among young people – with more than one in eight women from the ages of 18 to 34 identifying as bisexual in the latest survey.

There were more than twice as many young female bisexuals as there were young lesbians, gay men and bisexual men combined.

This comes after the number of people identifying as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) hit a record high in the UK in January. Data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows the figure increased by 50,000 in 2017, with the proportion of the population up from 1.5 per cent in 2012 to 2 per cent in 2017.

People aged between 16 and 24 were most likely to identify as LGB, at an estimated 4.2 per cent, while men were more likely to do so than females, at around 1.7 per cent compared with 0.9 per cent.

But women were more likely to identify themselves as bisexual, at 0.9 per cent compared with 0.6 per cent of males.

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