A quarter (26 per cent) of UK adults now identify as something other than 100% heterosexual, according to new research by YouGov and UM London.
When broken down by age group, the survey of 2,000 UK adults found that 35 per cent of those aged between 35 and 44 said they weren’t “completely heterosexual” whilst 55 per cent of adults between 18 and 24 agreed that they weren’t.
The research also highlighted that 60 per cent of Brits felt that sexuality should be viewed on a scale, as opposed to people just being regarded as straight or gay.
Michael Brown, head of insight at UM, who commissioned the research, said:
The comparison of this year’s anonymous data with that from the ONS might seem jarring. However, what this shows is that Kinsey was right to view sexuality as a spectrum. After all, trying to define something as complex as sexuality in binary terms is at best crude, and at worst – fantastical.
Overall, 16 per cent of Brits said they have had a sexual encounter with a member of the same sex, whilst 25 per cent of those aged 18 to 24, 25 to 34 and 35 to 44 said they had. The survey found that heterosexual women are more open-minded when it comes to same-sex experiences than men, with one in five saying they could maybe or definitely see themselves becoming attracted to someone of the same sex.
Almost half of those surveyed believe that gay and bisexual men have become more positively perceived by society over the past three years, while 37 per cent see a more positive perception of lesbian and bisexual women over the same period.
66 per cent of gay/bisexual men aged 18-34 felt that there weren’t enough LGBTQ+ people in advertising campaigns whilst half believe the community is ‘invisible’ in advertising.
One of the biggest statistics to come out of the survey saw 60 per cent of lesbian/bisexual women believe that they have less visibility in the public eye compared to gay/bisexual men.
Brown further added: “The data shows we’re queerer than we used to be. While younger people may be compelled by the spirit of free identity symbolised by icons of today’s popular culture, like Cara Delevingne, it also seems that older people are perhaps finally feeling more able to allow their sexuality to be non-binary.
“The advertising and media community has a huge role to play, both in avoiding harmful negative stereotypes and in creating ads and content that appeal to an increasingly queer UK populace, whether young, middle-aged or older.
“A quarter of the UK is a massive audience for companies that can strike a genuine chord with the LGBTQ+ community. So important marketing practices, like better representation and more investment in LGBTQ+ media platforms, should be prioritised by brands and agencies.”