How Many American Adults Have Had a Same-Sex Experience?

How Many American Adults Have Had a Same-Sex Experience?

Since becoming an adult, how many Americans have ever had a sexual experience with someone of the same sex? And how has this number changed over time? According to a recent study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, 8-9% of American adults today have had a same-sex experience—a figure that has doubled since the late 1980s. Check out the infographic below for a closer look at the numbers and how they have changed over time.

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"Beer Goggles" Can Increase Straight People's Attraction to the Same Sex

"Beer Goggles" Can Increase Straight People's Attraction to the Same Sex

Alcohol has the power to change not only the way we see ourselves, but also the way we see other people. Indeed, research has found that when we drink, we have a tendency to rate ourselves and the people around us as more attractive than we otherwise would if we were sober. Both of these are manifestations of the so-called “beer goggles” phenomenon. A new study published in The Journal of Social Psychology suggests that beer goggles might have at least one other interesting effect: alcohol also seems to increase straight people’s interest in having a same-sex experience.

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In Animals, Female Scarcity May Stimulate Male Same-Sex Behavior

In Animals, Female Scarcity May Stimulate Male Same-Sex Behavior

Sexual contact between members of the same sex has been documented in numerous animal species. Several scientific explanations for this phenomenon have been proposed over the years, many of which have argued that the underlying reason may be adaptive. For example, the social glue hypothesis argues that same-sex behavior evolved because it plays a role in the establishment and maintenance of relationships among members of the same sex.

However, a new study published in the journal Behavioral Ecology suggests that animals’ same-sex behavior may not necessarily need to have an adaptive cause. Instead, it may sometimes arise from very specific environmental factors, such as a high population density combined with a heavily skewed sex ratio.

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Infographic: Sexual Behavior in the United States Today

Infographic: Sexual Behavior in the United States Today

How many American adults have ever had sex? And what kind(s) of sex have they had? For a look at the answers, check out the infographic below, which summarizes findings from the most recent wave of the National Survey of Family Growth. The prevalence of each sexual behavior assessed is reported separately for men and women. The numbers were very similar across the sexes, with one exception: reports of having ever engaged in same-sex behavior. Women were almost three times as likely to report this as men. See below for a closer look at the numbers.

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