Sunday, November 7, 2010
It's actually a little of both.
Most notably acceptance is quickly being gained by younger generations, specifically gen x and gen y. The number of high school students identifying as gay or bisexual is increasing and has been increasing over the years. There has been a complete paradigm shift in attitudes with this age group and it doesn't have to do with rebellion or trying not to be their parents. It has to do with the fact that many know it's natural and can see right though homophobia.
In addition it's not "cool" to be homophobic because it's signals closed minded and uneducated it and announces your insecurity of differences.
During the late 1990's 9% of high school students identify as "gay, lesbian, bisexual or questioning according to one study. Source
Last month a study came out revealing nearly 10% of New York City high school students have had a partner of the same sex. That's hundreds of thousand of people. The percentages are also similar for college students and might even be a little higher than that. These numbers reported people who filled out the survey and admitted it openly (out of the closet). If the percentage of closeted gay and bi teens had been factored it would be higher.
Across pond these figures are higher. In Europe homophobia still exists but in small doses these days and sexuality- gay, bi or straight- is regarded as normal. One study last month studied sexuality with British high school students and the results surprised me a bit: same sex kissing is common with teen and college males. From the study:
"Based on in-depth interviews of 145 British university and high-school students, Anderson and his colleagues discovered that 89 percent had kissed a male heterosexual friend on the lips at some point. A total of 37 percent had engaged in "sustained" kissing with another man, Anderson said."
Maybe it's experimenting or maybe it's just a fun game of "gay chicken"...?
Or maybe it's something else.
One thing about European youth and other nations is they don't like labels defining their sexuality, they understand humans are sexual beings. America is slowly catching onto this fact with more and more people coming out as gay or bi at younger ages. Most people know that sexuality isn't black or white but a lot of them don't talk about it- until now.
Is sexuality evolving? Is it becoming more accepted?
It's a bit of both. And it will continue to evolve.