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Poll: One-Third of 16-to-22-Year-Olds Identify as Gay or Bi


The figure is in contrast to a poll of baby boomers, of whom 88 percent identify as straight.

A poll commissioned by the BBC has found that a third of British 16-to-22-year-olds identify as being attracted to someone of the same sex at least some of the time. Of that group, 9 percent identified as bisexual, while 14 percent stated they are "mostly heterosexual" but not fully so.

The study, conducted by Ipsos Mori, surveyed 3,000 people divided into four generations -- Z, Y, X, and baby boomers. As the generations got younger, fewer members identified as heterosexual. In Generation X, it was 85 percent; with Generation Y, otherwise known as millennials, it was 71. The poll found that 88 percent of baby boomers identified as fully heterosexual, with just 9 percent identifying as "mostly" and one percent as bisexual.

Many survey respondents felt that younger generations are simply more comfortable with an LGBT label.

One millennial girl wrote, "Our generation genuinely just does not care. 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.'" One of her male counterparts shared that sentiment, adding, "No one cares. You just want to be who you are. If someone is happy, who cares?"

The youngest generation also had much larger concerns about social justice. Ten percent of Generation Z described prejudice against LGBT people as an important issue, as compared to 1 percent of Baby Boomers. Twenty percent of Generation Z respondents also said racism is a concern, but only 6 percent of boomers felt that way.

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Ariel Sobel