Please join us for a colloquium being given by Paula England, Professor of Sociology at New York University.
Cohort Increases in Sex with Same-Sex Partners: Do Trends Vary by Gender, Race, and Class?
We examine change across U.S. cohorts born between 1920 and 2000 in their probability of having had sex with same-sex partners in the last year and since age 18. Using data from the 1988-2018 General Social Surveys, we explore how trends differ by gender, race, and class background. We find steep increases across birth cohorts in the proportion of women who have had sex with both sexes since age 18, while increases for men are less steep. We suggest that women’s steeper increase is rooted in a long-term asymmetry in gender change, in which nonconformity to gender norms is more acceptable for women than men. We also find some evidence that black men’s increase was steeper than white men’s increase, which we speculate may have been influenced by the rise of mass incarceration.