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Homosexuality in UK rising

Published: October 8, 2016, 11:27 am

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    If homosexuality is something one is born with, as in genetically pre-programmed, how is it that numbers in Britain are growing?

    The Telegraph has published a report by the Annual Population Survey (APS) in which it is estimated that the number of people in the UK openly identifying as bisexual jumped from 230,000 in 2012 to 334,000 in the most recent population survey carried out last year.

    The number defined as gay or lesbian also rose also by 8.3 per cent to 586,000 during the same time.

    Around 1.7 per cent of the British population identified themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual, but LGBT groups have long argued that numbers are significantly higher than official statistics.

    More young people in the UK describe themselves as bisexual than gay or lesbian combined, the figures from the Office for National Statistics show.

    The ONS has said the 45 per cent rise was clearly statistically significant.

    A further 206,000 were classed as “other” and the equivalent of 2.2 million refused to answer or said they did not know their sexual identity.

    Altogether 6.2 per cent, or 3.3 million people if the proportion was repeated across the whole population over the age of 16, identified themselves as something other than heterosexual.

    A survey by YouGov published last year found that half of young people, and almost a quarter of the population, define themselves as something other than heterosexual.

    Benjamin Cohen, chief executive of the LGBT publisher PinkNews, welcomed the news: “More and more young people are willing to admit that their sexual orientation fluctuates; that they can be attracted to someone of the same sex or someone of the opposite sex and that there is no inherent contradiction in that.

    “To some that may mean they label themselves as bisexual or as pansexual. Twenty years ago people might have had those feelings but wouldn’t have acted upon them, they might have liked someone but just ignored it.

    “Now, because of the changing society, if you are attracted to someone you can take action. I think that there are also a lot of quite well known celebrities who are identifying in this way, people like Miley Cyrus have described themselves as pansexual.

    “Those people, who are role models to young people, give them the confidence to label themselves in that way.”

    karin@praag.org

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