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to be lesbian or bisexual doesn't explain why a growing proportion of young women are lesbian or bisexual. But, as Professor Roy Baumeister at Florida State University and others have shown, sexual attraction in many women seems to be more malleable (see note 3 below).
The story continues to attract national attention because it's just so darn quaint.
Over the past seven years, I've posed this question to hundreds of teenagers and young adults across the United States.
The most common answer I get isn't really an answer.
"Girls kiss other girls at parties because guys like it," one teenage girl told me.
"It makes the guys hoot and holler, so the girls do it again. It's not for real." I point out, as gently as I can, that that response doesn't answer my question. If a straight boy kissed another boy, perhaps to amuse some girls who might be watching, he would be unlikely to undergo a change in sexual orientation as a result.
Imagine: there are still people who get upset when they see girls kissing other girls! Psychologist John Buss estimates that for most of human history, perhaps 2% of women have been lesbian or bisexual (see note 1, below). Recent surveys of teenage girls and young women find that roughly 15% of young females today self-identify as lesbian or bisexual, compared with about 5% of young males who identify as gay or bisexual (see note 2, below).