Not Straight

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The seemingly hazy line between gay and straight is something many young people encounter every day. According to an online survey of 23,977 individuals ages 13 to 32, conducted by element, a New York City-based market research firm, and released in October, 10 percent of those responding to a question about sexual orientation described themselves as either “not straight� or “not sure, questioning.� And while young men and young women are equally likely to say they are either not straight or questioning their sexuality, young women are significantly more likely to say that they have “fooled around with someone of the same gender� (16 percent versus 10 percent). When it comes to intercourse with someone of the same sex, men and women were equally likely to admit to participating. Seven percent of young women and 6 percent of young men say they have had intercourse with someone of the same sex.

DON'T TELL?

One in 8 teenagers did not answer the question about their sexual orientation, while virtually all 20- to 32-year-olds did.

TOTAL AGE

13-19
AGE

20-32
FEMALE MALE
Straight 61% 18% 86% 61% 61%
Not straight 4% 1% 6% 3% 5%
Not sure, questioning 3% 1% 4% 4% 1%
Prefer not to say 3% 0% 4% 2% 4%
No answer 29% 81% 0% 30% 29%
Source: element
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