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At least a fifth of American teenagers experience some form of sexual orientation change in adolescence, with girls three times more likely to change their sexual orientation than boys, according to a new study.
Psychologists conducted a three-year follow-up survey of more than 700 students in the southeast of the United States, which included their descriptions of their sexual orientation, love orientation and sexual behavior. They found that 19% of the students said their sexual identity had changed at least once, and 21% said their sexual attraction had changed. For example, in the first year, they thought they were heterosexual, and in the second year, they thought they were bisexual. On average, girls thought they were more attractive than boys.
The findings highlight the subtlety and dynamism of adolescents recognition and experience, the researchers noted. It is reported that psychologist J. Stewart of North Carolina State University and his colleagues conducted a three-year sexual orientation survey on 744 students in rural high schools in the southeast of the United States. 54% of the participants were girls and 46% were boys.
The researchers found a significant difference between girls and boys, with 26% of girls claiming at least one change in sexual identity during the study period, while only 11% of boys claimed to have their own sexual identity change.
In addition to their sexual orientation, the team asked participants about their attractiveness to the opposite sex, that is, whether they were attracted to boys or girls. The results showed that 21% of the students claimed that they were interested in at least one person, while most showed diversity.
There are also significant differences in gender identity between girls and boys. 31% of girls say their attraction to the opposite sex has changed, compared with only 10% of boys.
In the past three years, Stewart points out, some teenagers have shifted between sexual minority status and attractiveness - homosexuality, bisexuality, and varying degrees of same-sex attractiveness. Other teenagers fluctuate between heterosexual and sexual minorities. When we study the extent to which gender identity, attractiveness and sexual behavior are consistent, we find some interesting trends.
Sexual minorities, also known as Rainbow ethnic group, refer to the general term of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersexual, asexual and other non-standard sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression not mentioned above.
The team found that most teenagers who are considered sexual minorities also show a certain degree of same-sex attraction, most of whom have had sex with the same sex.
However, the researchers noted that students who thought they were heterosexual, especially the women who participated in the study, had more variability. In fact, 9% of girls said they were heterosexual, with at least some same-sex attraction.
In addition, 12% of the girls said they had had homosexual sex, although they thought they were heterosexual and said they had no sexual attraction to other girls.
Adolescence is an important period for young people to explore sexual orientation identity. The researchers concluded that for many young people, the process of sexual identity development is very delicate. Based on the research and analysis of young people, it is predicted that this situation may last to the age of more than 30, or even greater. It is important to emphasize that the current discussion is about self driving changes in sexual orientation.
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