By David Vandygriff
A new study finds that three out of ten 16-22 year-olds are gay or bisexual, to varying degrees. The poll of just over 3000 people conducted by Ipsos Mori for the BBC finds not only a large difference between that age group and "baby boomers," in how they self-identify, but a large difference in how they view relationships.
"The survey suggests a difference in attitudes to sexuality - with two-thirds of 16 to 22-year-olds saying they're 'only attracted to the opposite sex,'" the BBC reports. "That's compared with 88% of baby boomers and 85% of Generation X."
Among the 16-22 year olds, 14 percent say they are mostly attracted to the opposite sex, and another 9 percent say they are attracted to both sexes equally. 3 percent are only attracted to the same sex, and another 3 percent are mostly attracted to the same sex. The remaining five percent refused to say.
The numbers appear to show a large increase in the number of people who are not comfortable with the current labels of human sexuality, or are willing to say they identify as something other than totally heterosexual.
"Our generation genuinely just does not care," one young woman, a millennial, as The Advocate reported, said. "They don’t see couples and go, 'That’s a straight couple, that’s a gay couple.' They just think, 'That’s a couple, those two people are in love and it doesn’t matter.'"
A young man added: "No one cares. You just want to be who you are. If someone is happy, who cares?"
BBC Newsbeat highlighted the poll, and interviewed one 16-year old, Andy, who came out as bisexual on air.
"This is the first time I've ever admitted it in public. I'm bisexual," Andy said, to much applause. "It's been really difficult for me because there is so much stereotyping."
"I'm hard-wired that way. It's not something I can change," he explained. "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."