Who Experiments With the Same Sex More — Girls or Guys?
More and more people have been experimenting with their sexuality, particularly with the opposite sex. How do we know this? Because tons of surveys have been conducted asking people who they’ve hooked up with, and they all seem to get sent to the Galore inbox. So we decided to crunch the numbers and see which gender is more open-minded — and you might be surprised by the results, especially in the U.K.
But first, what’s up in America, where the most data is available? Most recently, Adam & Eve found that out of 1,000 American adults aged over 18, 30% of females had experienced with the same sex and 19% of males had.
The survey didn’t specify what type of sexual experience they had, so survey respondents could have simply made out with the same sex, or gone balls deep (pun intended) and had sex. But the takeaway is that women might be more likely to admit to having a same-sex experience than men are.
The same is true for men’s and women’s sexual fantasies. A 2014 study found that 36.9% of women fantasized about being with another woman, whereas only around 24% of men admitted to fantasizing about sex with another man. Again, keep in mind that this is only how many people are willing to admit to this kind of fantasizing. The actual numbers could be higher, and probably are.
OkCupid’s study of its straight users is more or less in line with the Adam & Eve study. OkCupid found that 13% of men admitted to having a same sex experience, whereas 33% of women have.
But guys are catching up to girls. Although there aren’t any official statistics (probably because straight-identifying guys would never admit it publicly), there are also more and more straight men experimenting with gay guys, and you can find plenty of guys detailing their experiences on the internet (anonymously, of course).
All in all, data seems to support the fact that more girls than guys have experimented with the same sex, but not by too much. There may be an even smaller gap between the genders considering the fact that straight guys are less likely to openly admit about homosexual experiences. Either way, it’s awesome to see that young adults aren’t letting the terms “straight” or “gay” define them and are experimenting with their sexuality to see what really turns them on.
We did find one notable exception: in the UK, according to one study, it seems that more guys are willing to experiment with the same sex than girls are. In a study by YouGov, about 20% of guys said they’d experimented with the same sex, whereas only 14% of women had tried it.
This is a bit surprising, considering that culturally, it’s more common for women to be encouraged to experiment with the same sex than men. In fact, it seems like guys pressure straight girls to make out all the time, and it’s ironically a quick way for a girl to get a guy’s attention. 69% of college women have seen two girls making out at a party, and 56% of the women admitted to making out with another girl for male attention, according to a study done for the Psychology of Women Quarterly.
So is the UK’s lack of frat parties to blame for their exception, or what?
According to at least one hypothesis, the difference between the US and the UK could be the due to the prominence of all-boys boarding schools in the UK. Vanity Fair columnist Christopher Hitchens detailed the homosexual affairs that went on at his British all-boys boarding school in his memoir, Hitch-22. Many men are known to experiment with the same sex in prison due to lack of women and Hitchens claimed that a similar phenomenon occurred in his boarding school.
“It’s very important to understand that 90% of these enthusiastic participants would have punched you in the throat if you suggested there was anything homosexual (or ‘queer’) about what they were doing,” wrote Hitchens. “The unstated excuse was that this is what one did until the so-far unattained girls became available.”
It’s unclear if Hitchens’ experience mirrors the culture of the majority of all-boys boarding schools, but other men who once attended UK boarding schools appear to have similar stories such as the below one from The Guardian.
“The funny thing was, if you shagged one of the maids you were instantly expelled, but if you had anything to do with boys you got a severe ticking-off,” film critic Derek Malcom said of his experience. “And you hoped that by the end of your career at Eton you didn’t turn out to be gay.”
It is certainly a possible theory as to why the UK boasts more bi-curious men than the US. Either way, we’re into it, and we hope to see a day where men and women alike aren’t embarrassed to admit to their same-sex experiences.