Increases in sex with same-sex partners and bisexual identity across cohorts of women (but not men)

Paula England, Emma Mishel, Mónica L. Caudillo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    We use data from the 2002-2013 National Surveys of Family Growth to examine change across U.S. cohorts born between 1966 and 1995 in whether individuals have had sex with same-sex partners only, or with both men and women, and in whether they have a bisexual or gay identity. Adjusted for age, race/ethnicity, immigrant status, and mother's education, we find increases across cohorts in the proportion of women who report a bisexual identity, who report ever having had sex with both sexes, or who report having had sex with women only. By contrast, we find no cohort trend for men; roughly 5 percent of men in every cohort have ever had sex with a man, and the proportion claiming a gay or bisexual attraction changed little. We speculate that this gender difference is rooted in a broader pattern of asymmetry in gender change in which departures from traditional gender norms are more acceptable for women than men.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)951-970
    Number of pages20
    JournalSociological Science
    StatePublished - Nov 7 2016



    • Bisexuality
    • Cohorts
    • Gender
    • Homosexuality
    • Sexualities

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Sciences(all)

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