A recent British study on human sexuality found that the number of women who claim to have had lesbian encounters has increased over the last 20 years.
A 1990 study showed just 1.8 percent of women participated in same-sex relationships, while the new survey indicated that 8 percent of women had at least one lesbian relationship. Although the study was conducted in the UK, experts say that the results would be similar in the U.S.
Indiana University Research Scientist Debra Herbenick posits that the increase in lesbian dalliances demonstrates a cultural shift that includes the “loosening up and encouragement for both women and men for exploring the desires that they do have.” Herbenick also sees the United States is changing in “significant ways” when it comes to accepting LGBT individuals as well as same-sex marriage. She points out that technology has played a role in precipitating this shift: “The Internet changed a lot of things for many people.”
According to Kay Wellings, one of the study’s authors, the study finds that women are more accepting of others’ sexual orientation and have become more sexually adventurous: “In some areas of sexual behavior we have seen a narrowing of the gender gap, but in others we have seen women overtaking men in the diversity of their behavior… (the trend should be viewed) against the backdrop of the profound changes in the position of women in society, the norms governing their lifestyles, and media representations of female sexuality.”