The Diversity and Prevalence of Sexual Orientation Self-Labels in a New Zealand National Sample

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Greaves, Lara M
Barlow, Fiona Kate
Lee, Carol HJ
Matika, Correna M
Wang, Weiyu
Lindsay, Cinnamon-Jo
Case, Claudia JB
Sengupta, Nikhil K
Huang, Yanshu
Cowie, Lucy J
Stronge, Samantha
Storey, Mary
De Souza, Lucy
Manuela, Sam
Hammond, Matthew D
Milojev, Petar
Townrow, Carly S
Muriwai, Emerald
Satherley, Nicole
Fraser, Gloria
West-Newman, Tim
Houkamau, Carla
Bulbulia, Joseph
Osborne, Danny
Wilson, Marc S
Sibley, Chris G
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In this study, we asked participants to “describe their sexual orientation” in an open-ended measure of self-generated sexual orientation. The question was included as part of the New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study (N = 18,261) 2013/2014 wave, a national probability survey conducted shortly after the first legal same-sex marriages in New Zealand. We present a two-level classification scheme to address questions about the prevalence of, and demographic differences between, sexual orientations. At the most detailed level of the coding scheme, 49 unique categories were generated by participant responses. Of those who responded with the following, significantly more were women: bisexual (2.1 % of women, compared to 1.5 % of men), bicurious (0.7 % of women, 0.4 % of men), and asexual (0.4 % of women and less than 0.1 % of men). However, significantly fewer women than men reported being lesbian or gay (1.8 % of women, compared to 3.5 % of men). Those openly identifying as bicurious, bisexual, or lesbian/gay were significantly younger than those with a heterosexual orientation. This study shows diversity in the terms used in self-generated sexual orientations, and provides up-to-date gender, age, and prevalence estimates for the New Zealand population. Finally, results reveal that a substantial minority of participants may not have understood the question about sexual orientation.

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Archives of Sexual Behavior

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