Written by Sean G. Massey, Binghamton University, State University of New York; Mei-Hsiu Chen, Binghamton University, State University of New York, and Sarah Young, Binghamton University, State University of New York


Most adults identify themselves as heterosexual, meaning they report being attracted to, and engaging in sex with, only members of the other sex. However, women ages 18 to 29 are increasingly rejecting exclusive heterosexuality and describing their sexual orientation in other ways. These changes in women’s sexuality are not mirrored by their male peers.

That’s the primary finding in our most recent report on nine years of surveys at the Binghamton Human Sexualities Research Lab, just published in “Sexuality in Emerging Adulthood.” Together with our Binghamton University colleagues Richard E. Mattson, Melissa Hardesty, Ann Merriwether and Maggie M. Parker, we conclude that changes in young adults’ sexual orientation are not just as a result of increased social acceptance of LGBT people – but also are related to feminism and the women’s movement.