• Article

Same-gender sex among U.S. adults Trends across the twentieth century and during the 1990s

Trends in reporting of same-gender sex are assessed using data from the 1998–2002 General Social Surveys (Ns = 9,487 males and 12,336 females). Analyses indicate that the reported prevalence of female-female sexual contact increased substantially and monotonically across twentieth-century birth cohorts, rising from 1.6 percent (Standard error [SE] = 0.60) for the cohort of U.S. women born prior to 1920 to 6.9 percent (SE = 0.81) for women born in 1970 and afterward. Increases in the reported prevalence of female-female contacts also occurred within the 1990s. These trends persist when statistical controls are introduced for changes in attitudes toward same-gender sexual behavior. No parallel trend is observed in the reporting of male-male sexual contacts during adulthood, although the proportion of U.S. men reporting such contacts in the past year and in the past five years increased during the 1990s.


Turner, C., Villarroel, M., Chromy, J., Eggleston, E., & Rogers, S. (2005). Same-gender sex among U.S. adults: Trends across the twentieth century and during the 1990s. Public Opinion Quarterly, 69(3), 439-462. https://doi.org/10.1093/poq/nfi025

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