A Majority Of Teens Today Don't Identify As Straight, According To Study
A great deal of Generation Z refuses to be defined as absolutely gay or absolutely straight, a new survey found.
The J. Walter Thompson Innovation Group asked individuals between the ages of 13 and 20, aka Generation Z, to place themselves on a scale of zero to six, with zero meaning "completely straight" and six meaning "completely homosexual."
According to Huffington Post, 48 percent of participants chose zero and over a third chose a number between one and five.
When individuals between the ages of 21 and 34, aka Millennials, were asked the same question, 65 percent chose zero while 24 percent chose a number between one and five.
Shepherd Laughlin, director of trend forecasting for the JWT Innovation Group, told Broadly these findings suggest for Generation Z, gender "shouldn't be seen as a binary."
In fact, Generation Z seemed to be significantly opposed to the traditional gender binary, with 70 percent of Gen Z-ers giving their support to gender-neutral public restrooms compared to 57 percent of Millennials.
Fifty-six percent of Generation Z also claimed to know somebody who goes by a gender-neutral pronoun like "they" or "ze" instead of "he" or "she."
The survey involved fewer than 1,000 participants, but Laughlin said he was "90 percent" confident the findings represent nationwide opinions.
He noted, in a previous survey, 81 percent of Generation Z said, "Gender doesn't define a person as much as it used to," and all these results show "Gen Z has a more complex and less binary approach to gender than Millennials."
Agender writer and speaker Tyler Ford believes the departure from traditional gender binary is largely due to the Internet.
Ford told Broadly,
Young people have more access to information and to other people than ever before. Marginalized folks are building communities and platforms online and are talking about their everyday experiences on public forums. I can't tell you how many times someone has written something and I think, 'Oh my God, that's a real thing? That's not just me? There's a name for this?'
One non-binary 19-year-old, Brooks, dismissed the idea that more teens refuse to define themselves according to the traditional gender binary "because it's trendy."
Brooks suggested older generations would have done the same thing if terms like agender or pansexual existed in decades past.