Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Why Are More and More Girls Becoming Lesbians?

  1. Jul 21, 2011 #1
    It's my perception that more and more girls are practicing lesbianism. More than was ever previously the case in my lifetime. It seems the younger the age group you sample the more likely you are to find girls who prefer other girls as their sex/romance partners.

    First off, does anyone know of studies that confirm this, or am I just paying more attention to it as I get older?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 21, 2011 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Matter of perception? Is it possible that more and more young ladies are willing to come out about their sexual preferences? I knew a lot of lesbians in HS back in the '60s, perhaps because I was heavily involved in band, chorus, etc, and got to be friends with a lot of girls that I had no sexual interests in. Well, some of them, but as soon as I found that they had girlfriends that weren't just friends, we took it to a different level. Back to just friends (no benefits).
  4. Jul 21, 2011 #3


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I don't have any data, but here's my guess:

    Homosexuality is more socially acceptable these days. It's possible that, "back in the day", there were just as many females who were attracted to the same sex, but they were less inclined to admit it due to social perceptions and stigmas.
  5. Jul 21, 2011 #4


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I personally only know 1 lesbian. Is it possible that we think we know more because it's much easier to know of a lot more people thanks to social media and the internet?
  6. Jul 21, 2011 #5


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Very apt. Over 20 years ago, I started hosting open-mic jams in local taverns, and I got to be friends with a lot of young ladies. One in particular was very clingy not just because of the music, but because she loved my Harley. She always got around on a 600cc sport-bike and almost always had a very cute underaged hugger on the back of the seat. I asked her not to buy me drinks after she did a few times, because any place that I played would give me drinks in addition to paying me to play and hosting the jams. Anytime you can get $30+/hr for doing something that you love, plus free drinks, life is good.

    Still, some areas seem more tolerant of lesbians than others. None of my musician friends were jealous of my relationship with this young lady. The were generally tending toward "introduce me and fix me up" instead.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011
  7. Jul 22, 2011 #6
    This Wiki article has an "original research" disclaimer, but I thought the following list of "measurement difficulties" made perfect sense, and expands on and confirms Dembadon's guess:


    Whatever the actual percentages are, I find it amazing that Penguino can only know one lesbian personally while I can't seem to walk down the street without tripping over a lesbian. I hang in coffeehouses all the time, so it may be that non-corporate coffeehouses tend to be in those hipper, 'lesbian tolerant' areas Turbo speaks of.

    This point: "*There are several different biological and psychosocial components to sex and gender, and a given person may not cleanly fit into a particular category," from the Wiki article, strikes me as an important confusion factor. The choice of gay or straight is pushed pretty hard by those who are militantly one or the other. Some lesbians I know don't want to discuss "Bi", as if it's an illusory, non-category, while others will admit they've had attractions to, and even positive experiences with, guys. Militantly straight people will maintain that if a girl has had one lesbian experience she should be labeled "lesbian".

    So, a situation arises where a girl would self-identify as "lesbian" on a questionaire if she happened, at that time of her life, to be hanging out with a militantly lesbian crowd, and as "bisexual" if her current circle of friends was OK with that. The social politics when it comes to this issue are some of the most convoluted I've encountered.
  8. Jul 23, 2011 #7
    I'm not sure this deserves an answer, but I'll give it a go.

    There are a few possible scenarios.

    1. Like a few have already said, perhaps the number of lesbians is not increasing, just the number of out of the closet lesbians is increasing.

    2. The number of lesbians is increasing because women have realized that men fail them in the home and in the bedroom.

    3. You're not actually seeing lesbians. Short hair is actually very trendy right now.

    4. You can't get a date, so you're bitter, and you're blaming the lesbians.
  9. Jul 24, 2011 #8
    Why wouldn't it deserve an answer, and why the trollish response?
  10. Jul 24, 2011 #9
    This kind of observation is in itself becoming more and more common. Undoubtedly, most or all of the suggested answers already offered are factors. It is also possible that homosexuality itself is becoming trendy. And it is even possible that there are cases where outward personas assumed are a challenge to family / friends / peers / broader society rather than a spontaneous expression of feelings. But perhaps all of it, including the tendency for the mystified questions about it, is symptomatic of a growing misalignment between active human reality and prevailing paradigms.
  11. Jul 24, 2011 #10
    I follow up to the last sentence which is, maybe, too general for me to get traction on it. You think there is more of a misalignment than ever before? If so, why would that be?
  12. Jul 24, 2011 #11
    I'm not a troll. I've posted enough times on this site. It's called sarcasm my dear.
  13. Jul 24, 2011 #12
    Well I dunno zoobyshoe, but I think that particular quote might be getting closest to it. Clearly homosexuality has been around for a long time, there is plenty of evidence in the literature of past ages that it is nothing so new. And yes, undoubtedly, in the days when it was socially unacceptable there were those who felt the need to suppress their true feelings to avoid opprobrium not to say incarceration. But I am not entirely convinced that there were the kind of numbers of closet homosexuals in the Victorian era that the modern fashionability for homosexuality would suggest that there might have been.

    So society has been forced to change its expectations of gender roles, but society has not given up its tendency to apply labels and then attach a whole raft of expectations to those labels. So we have learned to accept that homosexuals are people too. We have learned not to attach notions like ‘unnatural’ to such behaviours. But we cannot stop ourselves applying labels like ‘gay’, ‘lesbian’ and ‘bisexual’ and then still find ourselves struggling to fit square pegs into round holes. Is that not the very point of your anecdote about ‘militant’ straight people defining someone as lesbian because of one encounter?

    The whole of human society can be divided into two – the purest dichotomy: Those who have never eaten carrot cake and those who have. Once you have eaten a piece of carrot cake you cannot ever go back, you are a carrot cake eater for the rest of your life, even if you never touch another crumb. Gotta watch those carrot cake eaters you know. I’ve heard that these days there are some places where they do it in public. Never seen it myself but nowadays anything seems to go…
  14. Jul 24, 2011 #13


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Causes for an increase can be divided into two categories:
    1] accuracy and interpretations of data (that may include gathering data but it may also include subtleties such as self-identification)
    2] bona fide changes in frequency

    Discussions of 1] will take care of themselves.

    This one is the only hypothesis so far that assumes the data is accurate, and that there is a real change:
    So, assuming there's some truth to this, what is the proposed cause of this change? How are men failing women worse than they were previously?
  15. Jul 24, 2011 #14


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    :tongue2: Reminds me of the question "have you stopped beating your wife?"

    Zooby, are they true lesbians, or bisexual? We were discussing this yesterday in chat. The guys were saying that on a dating website that the majority of women in their 20's listed themselves as bisexual. Movies and tv have lead us to believe (and perhaps correctly) that men find women kissing or engaged in sexual activity with another woman to be a "turn on", so younger women have grown up believeing that claiming to be bisexual is a sure fire way to attract men.
  16. Jul 24, 2011 #15
    From several personal experiences with male friends who pushed girls to have girl on girl interaction that, at times, the ladies eventually became comfortable with it and either became bisexually or completely lesbian.

    It's ironic because in two instances the girlfriends ended up leaving the boyfriends to be with the other females monogamously.
  17. Jul 24, 2011 #16
    because more and more boys are becoming gays:yuck::eek::biggrin:
  18. Jul 24, 2011 #17
    I have met a lot of girls whose lesbian experiences and "bi" status, I suspected, were for show, only. The point seemed to be much like the point of getting a tattoo: to define themselves as counter-culture.

    I once happened upon a TV show where a girl was being interviewed and she asserted that girls kiss each other at parties a lot because guys say it turns them on. This (from czelaya) is the first I've heard that a lot of guys may be pushing girls into taking it further. Not that that would completely take me by surprise. Just such behavior was explored in the movie Lenny with Dustin Hoffman back in 1974. It's strange to think that a lot of this might have been cultivated deliberately by guys, themselves.

    Still, this whole "fad" aspect of it started without my being aware of it. I didn't see the evolution, and there are gaps in my grasp of how it happened, what contributed. When I first became aware that it was chic for girls to claim bisexuality I thought this was just a Goth thing, and that it had probably gotten mixed up with Goth via the informal Rocky Horror/Goth merger. Goth seems to have fizzled out now but the bisexuality of girls has, apparently, bled over into the mainstream.
  19. Jul 24, 2011 #18
    Actually that remark was about how hard it is to collect data, and why. But I see, since you point it out, that it also illustrates a broader misalignment of reality and paradigm. Labels, yes. Huge issue. I may start a thread.
  20. Jul 24, 2011 #19
    Here's the thing. On this issue, for scientific purposes, the collection of data is fraught with problems. However, some advertising company might have no problem sending a spider in to FaceBook or some dating site to slurp up all the self reporting on sexual orientation and identify a useful demographic from it. How does anyone know when the times are right to put out a TV show that has three lesbian characters in it? Or two Asians? Etc? Babbling off the top of my head here, it seems there is some kind of informal pulse taking that people who stand to make or lose money are better at than sociologists.
  21. Jul 24, 2011 #20


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Well, the key is "make or lose money". It's a gamble.

    And they don't have to be right; they just have to be at the right time.

    And that's got nothing to do with the reality of the data.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook