Millennials are more open to a bisexual partner than older generations - but not by much

Jamie BallardData Journalist
June 20, 2019, 5:30 PM GMT+0

Many Millennials say they are uncomfortable with the idea of dating a partner who is bisexual, transgender, or gender non-conforming.

This generation is more open to the idea of dating someone that fits the description than previous ones, but not everyone is comfortable with this idea.

Just over four in 10 (43%) Millennials would be comfortable with a bisexual partner, but a nearly-equal number (40%) say it would make them uncomfortable. By contrast, 37% of Gen Xers and just under a quarter of Baby Boomers would be amenable to having a bisexual partner. Women (28%) also tend to be less comfortable than men (38%) with the idea of a bisexual partner.

Far fewer Americans are comfortable with the idea of dating a transgender person. One in five (20%) of Americans would be open to this, while more than two-thirds (69%) say the opposite. Millennials (28%) are again more likely than Gen Xers (19%) or Baby Boomers (14%) to be accepting of the idea, but a majority (55%) still feel differently.

Almost a quarter (24%) of Americans are comfortable dating a person who is gender non-conforming, defined in this survey as someone whose gender expression does not fit neatly into a category. Again, Millennials (31%) are more likely than older generations to be amenable to this, but a larger (49%) of this generation still expresses discomfort with the idea.

Bisexual Americans are more likely than other groups to be open to dating those who don’t adhere to traditional ideas of gender and sexuality. Perhaps unsurprisingly, those who identify as bisexual themselves are most likely (82%) of any group surveyed to say they would be open to dating a bisexual person. This group is also more accepting than their gay, lesbian, and heterosexual counterparts when it comes to the idea of dating a transgender partner (65% of bisexual people are comfortable with this) or gender non-conforming (63%) partner. One-third (33%) of gay men/lesbian women would be open to dating someone transgender; 46% of this group would date someone gender non-conforming.

Majorities of Americans are not open to the idea of dating someone who is bisexual, transgender, or gender non-conforming. But there are some groups that are especially resistant: 74% of conservatives wouldn’t date someone bisexual and 82% wouldn’t date a transgender person. Almost eight in 10 (78%) conservatives are not amenable to dating a gender non-conforming person. Those who live in rural parts of the United States are also particularly likely to say they’d be uncomfortable dating someone bisexual (64%).

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Methodology: Total unweighted sample size was 3,721 US adults ages 18+. The responding sample is weighted to the profile of the sample definition to provide a representative reporting sample. Interviews were conducted online between May 28-31, 2019.

Related: Nearly half of Americans say sexuality is a scale

Image: The Gender Spectrum Collection

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