A new study has just been released showing that the number of women in Britain who engage in lesbian experiences has risen drastically. Back in 1990, just 1.8 percent of women participated in lesbian dalliances or relationships, while the new study found that 8 percent of women in Britain had experienced at least one lesbian encounter. The number includes women who identify as primarily lesbian as well as women who identify as having a sexual orientation other than lesbian, and represents a quadrupling of the previous numbers.
The reason for the dramatic increase in lesbian experiences in Britain may be primarily due to women’s shifting roles in society. The study also revealed that overall, women have also increased their number of sexual partners, doubling that number from two decades ago. Now, women have an average of 7.7 partners over their entire lifetime.
Kay Wellings, one of the study’s authors, said that the changing gender roles of women relate to the study results and that women are becoming even more adventurous than men in the area of sexual exploration and experimentation as well as in acceptance of their orientation:
In some areas of sexual behavior we have seen a narrowing of the gender gap, but in others we have seen women overtaking men in the diversity of their behavior…(the trend should be viewed) against the backdrop of the profound changes in the position of women in society, the norms governing their lifestyles, and media representations of female sexuality.
The study also revealed that Brits are participating in sex longer than before, and that they continue to engage in sex through their 70s. While they are having more diverse types of sex, engaging in it until a later age and enjoying it more than in previous decades, according to the study, Brits are also more disapproving of sex outside of marriage than they have ever been before.
Breaking the statistics down for lesbian experiences in Britain by age, a clear pattern emerges that tells researchers more young women are exploring lesbian sexuality. In the age group between 35 and 44, 12 percent of women experienced lesbian encounters while that number rose even higher in women ages 16-24. That age group saw 19 percent of women saying they had had a lesbian experience while the 25 to 34 year old group found 18 percent of women had had at least one lesbian experience.
Surprisingly, the overall number of sexual encounters dropped from five in four weeks which was found during the first study in 1990 to just three in four weeks in the latest study. The survey takes place every ten years and is entitled The National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles.
Same sex experiences in men had increased slightly from the first survey to the second survey, but were somewhat down again on certain questions in the latest survey. The overall rate for men having same sex encounters was 7 percent.
As lesbian experiences rise drastically in Britain, some may question whether that same increase could be observed in the US. The jury is still out on that. Perhaps a new study here could shed light on whether the trend is similar for Americans.
By: Rebecca Savastio