James W. Hicks, M.D.

Posts Tagged ‘surveys’

Flex Test Findings

In Research on August 5, 2011 at 8:23 am

I’ve just begun to analyze some of the data collected since the automated version of the Flexuality Test was launched in April 2011.

About 5,500 people have taken the automated test.

57% identified as female, 41% as male, and 2% as other.

50% identified as heterosexual at the start of the test, 26% as bisexual, and 16% as homosexual.

(In analyzing the following results, I counted a sexual type as present if the score was greater than 5 out of 10. Results add up to more than 100% because more than one sexual type may be present in any given individual, reflecting the intentional overlap between categories.)

Among women, 47% were ambisexual, 43% were heteroflexible, 26% were flexamorous, 22% were straight, 7% were lesbian, and 4% were queer. As far as sexual traits, 11% had restrained features, 8% were transitioning, 4% were metamorphic, and 3% were supersexual. None were macho, and less than 1% were versatile.

Among men, 31% were straight, 30% were ambisexual, 17% were gay, 12% were flexamorous, 9% were heteroflexible, and 5% were queer. For sexual traits, 17% were restrained, 7% were supersexual, 7% were transitioning, 4% were metamorphic, 2% were versatile, and 1% were macho.

Among those who identified as something other than male or female (e.g., trans, genderqueer, etc.), 58% were ambisexual, 57% were flexamorous, 14% were queer, 12% were gay, and 3% were straight, with reference to their gender of birth. Only 53% scored as having metamorphic traits, which suggests that my scoring of that trait may not give enough weight to each of the different ways in which an individual may feel other-gendered.

Those who have taken the test do not constitute a random or controlled sample, and men and women may have learned about the test from different sources. Nevertheless, it is interesting that women were much more likely to score in the bisexual spectrum (especially heteroflexible, ambisexual, or flexamorous), even though their self-identification at the start of the test was similar to men’s. Relative to the other bisexual types, the flexamorous profile did not stand out as a particularly female presentation, challenging the sterotype that women are more interested in relationships. However, there were more supersexual, macho, and versatile men compared to women.

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How Many Bisexuals?

In Research on November 5, 2010 at 11:16 am

I posted previously about the incidence of bisexuality among men and women. Since then, the results of two more national surveys have been published.

The 2008 General Social Survey involved face-to-face interviews with about 2,000 adults (though nearly 13% declined to answer the questions about sexual orientation and behavior). According to an analysis of the data by The Williams Institute, less than 2% of men said they were gay, less than 2% of women said they were lesbian, and less than 2% altogether identified as bisexual. But another 6%, who consider themselves straight, reported having had sex with someone of the same sex. In total, nearly 10% could be considered something other than heterosexual based on self-identification or sexual history.

Of note, women were twice as likely as men to consider themselves bisexual, while men were twice as likely to consider themselves straight even when they had had a same sex partner. This may reflect greater stigma for men in being anything other than straight.

The National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior of 2009 focused more on specific sexual behaviors and was conducted over the internet, which may have been less embarrassing. Nearly 6,000 adolescents and adults agreed to participate. According to the special issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine which published the results, about 8% of adults consider themselves something other than straight, with women much more likely to identify as bisexual or “other.” The highest rate of bisexual identification (8.4%) was reported by adolescent girls (who were also much more likely than boys to engage in same-sex behaviors).

The published findings regarding sexual behaviors are frustratingly incomplete, in that they do not distinguish whether insertive anal practices and mutual masturbation were conducted with same-sex or opposite-sex partners, and cunnilingus seems to be the only same-sex activity identified for women. That said, the following rates of same-sex behavior were found among adult men: 8-15% have received oral sex, 6-13% have given oral sex, and 4-11% have received anal sex. Among women, 4-17% have received oral sex from a woman, and 4-14% have given oral sex to a woman. (The ranges reflect the rates in different age groups.)

Again, the rates of same-sex behavior are considerably higher than the rates of gay and bisexual identification, which confirms previous findings that most men and women who have had homosexual experiences nevertheless consider themselves straight (in my schema, most would probably be heteroflexible).

Of note, neither of these surveys sampled institutional settings, such as dormitories, barracks, and jails, where same-sex behavior may be more common. If we were to add in those settings and consider any same-sex behaviors that lead to orgasm, rates of de facto bisexuality would probably be closer to the 20-30% originally identified by Kinsey.