The findings reveal that while the number of men who reported having same-sex partners has changed little – from 3.6% in the first study to 4.8% in the 2010-2012 survey – for women, the figure has increased fourfold. The first survey showed that the percentage of women that reported having same-sex partners was 1.8%. In the 2010-2012 survey, this figure rose to 7.9%.
Professor Kay Wellings of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM, UK), one of the leaders of the study said: “The change in women’s behavior across the three surveys has been remarkable. In some areas of sexual behavior we have seen a narrowing of the gender gap, but in others we have seen women overtaking men in the diversity of their behavior. These trends need to be seen against the backdrop of the profound changes in the position of women in society, the norms governing their lifestyles, and media representations of female sexuality.”
This seems to indicate that British women are growing both in their acceptance of same-sex relationships and their openness to being with another woman.
Mercer CH, Tanton C, Prah P, Erens B, Sonnenberg P, Clifton S, Macdowall W, Lewis R, Field N, Datta J, Copas AJ, Phelps A, Wellings K, Johnson AM. Changes in sexual attitudes and lifestyles in Britain through the life course and over time: findings from the National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal). The Lancet, Early Online Publication, 26 November 2013. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62035-8