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.