Unprecedentedly uninterested in heterosexuality?

LouiseLouise Epiphanies Host
I came across this a while back and was fascinated. It's a nugget that was buried deep in an article about men, women and Trump
'And today, young women in the U.S. aren’t just unprecedentedly single; they also appear to be unprecedentedly uninterested in heterosexuality: According to private polling shared with Intelligencer by Democratic data scientist David Shor, roughly 30 percent of American women under 25 identify as LGBT; for women over 60, that figure is less than 5 percent

Anyone have any thoughts about whether it's true? Do we think the percentage will keep rising and what difference might it make?

Article is here:

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/10/2020-polls-gender-gap-women-voters-trump.html?utm_source=tw

Comments

  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    It's very hard to know what the 'natural' tendency of the population would be in the absence of social pressure, because for a long time there's been social pressure.

    There's a general perception, anecdotally, that bisexuality is more common in women. So that they're "uninterested" in heterosexuality does not translate to them being uninterested in heterosexual relationships.

    Let us pause to observe that the use of "interested" or "uninterested" in relation to a sexuality is a really bad choice of words. I spent a very large chunk of my life being terribly "interested" in heterosexuality and this didn't turn me into a heterosexual.
  • orfeo wrote: »
    There's a general perception, anecdotally, that bisexuality is more common in women. So that they're "uninterested" in heterosexuality does not translate to them being uninterested in heterosexual relationships.

    I suppose the "what difference might it make" is what fraction of the young women currently identifying as bi and having relationships with women will end up living in suburbia with a man, two kids and an SUV.

    'cause in terms of "what does society look like?", there's a big difference between "30% of people have a same-sex relationships at some point in their life" and "30% of people are in a same-sex relationship". And that's more true if there's a significant difference between men and women in terms of interest in a same-sex relationship.
  • GwaiGwai Epiphanies Host
    There may also be a difference in comfort with being labeled LGBT between women and men. I am not a guy, but I hear that at least in the U.S. many men who can appreciate a partner of any gender tend to pick, for cultural reasons, and either live as a straight guy or a gay guy.
  • amyboamybo Shipmate
    orfeo wrote: »
    There's a general perception, anecdotally, that bisexuality is more common in women. So that they're "uninterested" in heterosexuality does not translate to them being uninterested in heterosexual relationships.

    I suppose the "what difference might it make" is what fraction of the young women currently identifying as bi and having relationships with women will end up living in suburbia with a man, two kids and an SUV.

    'cause in terms of "what does society look like?", there's a big difference between "30% of people have a same-sex relationships at some point in their life" and "30% of people are in a same-sex relationship". And that's more true if there's a significant difference between men and women in terms of interest in a same-sex relationship.

    Hi, I'm gonna identify myself as a woman living in suburbia with a man, kids and an SUV (it's just easier for the car seat, honestly).

    I'm also bi. I have always been bi. Personally, I knew since I was a preteen that I wasn't heterosexual, but a lot of us figure out later in life and that's cool too.

    What I am NOT is now heterosexual. I am not nor never will be heterosexual. My relationship is monogamous, but I am still attracted to people of my own gender and other gender(s). My marriage is a queer marriage - my partner will agree.

    Do heterosexuals suddenly become not attracted to anyone else once they're in a monogamous relationship? Do homosexuals become asexual when they're NOT in a relationship? Similarly, my bisexuality is not tied to my sexual status.

    In bi communities, we call this attitude biphobia.

    Back to what I think you were implying- is that the outcome of us being married to a dude in suburbia is the same whether or not we're hetero or bi. If we're looking at stats, fine. But we build community differently, we parent differently, and we're helping to make suburbia queerer, and more inclusive. In a generation "suburbia" is going to mean something less sinister. Which is awesome!
  • CathscatsCathscats Shipmate
    I hadn’t thought of things that way, @amybo. Thanks for a really interesting post. As someone who also chose which way to partner, after a fashion (partnering and choosing - we all do things differently) I hadn’t thought about how that might affect parenting. I guess I just thought I was doing it my way....
  • amybo wrote: »
    orfeo wrote: »
    There's a general perception, anecdotally, that bisexuality is more common in women. So that they're "uninterested" in heterosexuality does not translate to them being uninterested in heterosexual relationships.

    I suppose the "what difference might it make" is what fraction of the young women currently identifying as bi and having relationships with women will end up living in suburbia with a man, two kids and an SUV.

    'cause in terms of "what does society look like?", there's a big difference between "30% of people have a same-sex relationships at some point in their life" and "30% of people are in a same-sex relationship". And that's more true if there's a significant difference between men and women in terms of interest in a same-sex relationship.

    Hi, I'm gonna identify myself as a woman living in suburbia with a man, kids and an SUV (it's just easier for the car seat, honestly).

    I'm also bi. I have always been bi. Personally, I knew since I was a preteen that I wasn't heterosexual, but a lot of us figure out later in life and that's cool too.

    What I am NOT is now heterosexual. I am not nor never will be heterosexual. My relationship is monogamous, but I am still attracted to people of my own gender and other gender(s). My marriage is a queer marriage - my partner will agree.

    Do heterosexuals suddenly become not attracted to anyone else once they're in a monogamous relationship? Do homosexuals become asexual when they're NOT in a relationship? Similarly, my bisexuality is not tied to my sexual status.

    In bi communities, we call this attitude biphobia.

    Back to what I think you were implying- is that the outcome of us being married to a dude in suburbia is the same whether or not we're hetero or bi. If we're looking at stats, fine. But we build community differently, we parent differently, and we're helping to make suburbia queerer, and more inclusive. In a generation "suburbia" is going to mean something less sinister. Which is awesome!

    Mrs Feet is bi too. I'm curious what you think makes your relationship queer? Mrs Feet and I have a relationship that is no doubt unique to us but I don't know that her sexuality is a major component of that. Unless that's the reason she does the DIY and I was the one on my hands and knees scrubbing the bathroom floor on Sunday afternoon. ;)
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Gwai wrote: »
    There may also be a difference in comfort with being labeled LGBT between women and men. I am not a guy, but I hear that at least in the U.S. many men who can appreciate a partner of any gender tend to pick, for cultural reasons, and either live as a straight guy or a gay guy.

    Of course if a bi man is partnered, and his partner is a man, he is "living as a straight guy" and if his partner is a woman he is "living as a gay guy." So I'm not sure the point you're making.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Unless that's the reason she does the DIY and I was the one on my hands and knees scrubbing the bathroom floor on Sunday afternoon. ;)

    That ended up in a different place from where I thought it was going.
  • TelfordTelford Shipmate
    One is in a hetrosexual relationship or a homosexual relationship. Is there such a thing as a bi-sexual relationship ?
  • amyboamybo Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    Gwai wrote: »
    There may also be a difference in comfort with being labeled LGBT between women and men. I am not a guy, but I hear that at least in the U.S. many men who can appreciate a partner of any gender tend to pick, for cultural reasons, and either live as a straight guy or a gay guy.

    Of course if a bi man is partnered, and his partner is a man, he is "living as a straight guy" and if his partner is a woman he is "living as a gay guy." So I'm not sure the point you're making.

    No, we're living as a bi person. Everyone gets to call themselves what they are. I'm a bi woman married to a man and I am living as a bi woman.

    Coming from the (or maybe a) bi community, bi men get a lot of grief, and we all have internalized biphobia. So a lot of bi men, particularly those who are a bit older, tend to not come out. You may think you're looking at a guy living as a heterosexual man, but he just hasn't told you he's bisexual (or pansexual - I'm using bi as a blanket term here).

    Cathscats wrote: »
    I hadn’t thought of things that way, @amybo. Thanks for a really interesting post. As someone who also chose which way to partner, after a fashion (partnering and choosing - we all do things differently) I hadn’t thought about how that might affect parenting. I guess I just thought I was doing it my way....

    Thanks! I was invited to talk at my church about what it means to me to be a bi mom as part of a larger discussion, and I really had to search for what that means. I don't think it's things that only I do, but there are parts of my experience as a bi woman that really inform how I parent. For one, my kid shops in both the girls' and boys' departments (truck shirts, sparkly pink shoes); another thing is that I don't brush anything off as just a phase. Also, I CANNOT make a binary decision ;-)

  • amybo wrote: »
    What I am NOT is now heterosexual. I am not nor never will be heterosexual. My relationship is monogamous, but I am still attracted to people of my own gender and other gender(s). My marriage is a queer marriage - my partner will agree.

    Fair enough. I didn't mean to imply that bi people who form a hetero relationship necessarily become straight (any more than a bi person in a same-sex relationship is gay), so I'm sorry if my wording gave that impression.

    I also don't want to assume that sexuality is necessarily constant over time. I think it probably usually is, but I'm not wedded to the idea that it has to be (and I don't actually think it really matters much.)

    amybo wrote: »
    Back to what I think you were implying- is that the outcome of us being married to a dude in suburbia is the same whether or not we're hetero or bi. If we're looking at stats, fine. But we build community differently, we parent differently, and we're helping to make suburbia queerer, and more inclusive. In a generation "suburbia" is going to mean something less sinister. Which is awesome!

    Well, @orfeo raised the question of whether the increase in the number of young women identifying as bi was because of societal pressure, or because of some internal change in women.

    My guess is that it's more to do with societal pressure (and that several decades ago there were just as many women who were bi, but they tended to repress that because of societal censure, but that's only a guess.

    What I was really getting at are the fraction of people that are coupled. If roughly equal numbers of both sexes are bi, or gay, then moving from a society where there's heavy social pressure to form hetero relationships even if you're not inclined in that direction to one that affirms all kinds of relationships doesn't really alter the chances of anyone finding a partner.

    But if lots of women are bi, but few men are bi (and the number of gay men and women aren't too different) then the outcome is quite different depending on the choices that those bi women make. If we were to take as a starting point the assumption that a bi person would be equally likely to fall for and marry a man as a woman, and we assume (following the article in the OP) that there are an additional 20% of bi young women who aren't "matched" by bi young men, then that seems to suggest that an additional 10% of the male population will be unsuccessful at finding a partner.

    I'll note that 10% is about the imbalance between the male and female population in India.

    Telford wrote: »
    One is in a hetrosexual relationship or a homosexual relationship. Is there such a thing as a bi-sexual relationship ?

    @amybo has told us that she is a bisexual woman, married to a man, and identifies her marriage as "queer". @Arethosemyfeet has told us that he is a man, married to a bisexual woman, and does not identify his marriage as "queer".

    I think there's an interesting discussion to have here, but it has to start by being respectful of people's relationships and identity, and I don't think your post managed that.
  • TelfordTelford Shipmate
    edited May 17
    Telford wrote: »
    One is in a hetrosexual relationship or a homosexual relationship. Is there such a thing as a bi-sexual relationship ?

    @amybo has told us that she is a bisexual woman, married to a man, and identifies her marriage as "queer". @Arethosemyfeet has told us that he is a man, married to a bisexual woman, and does not identify his marriage as "queer".
    He married to a woman so it is a hetrosexual marriage.
    I think there's an interesting discussion to have here, but it has to start by being respectful of people's relationships and identity, and I don't think your post managed that.

    I disagree about your last comment but I can understand why you made it.
  • amybo wrote: »
    What I am NOT is now heterosexual. I am not nor never will be heterosexual. My relationship is monogamous, but I am still attracted to people of my own gender and other gender(s). My marriage is a queer marriage - my partner will agree.

    Fair enough. I didn't mean to imply that bi people who form a hetero relationship necessarily become straight (any more than a bi person in a same-sex relationship is gay), so I'm sorry if my wording gave that impression.

    I also don't want to assume that sexuality is necessarily constant over time. I think it probably usually is, but I'm not wedded to the idea that it has to be (and I don't actually think it really matters much.)

    amybo wrote: »
    Back to what I think you were implying- is that the outcome of us being married to a dude in suburbia is the same whether or not we're hetero or bi. If we're looking at stats, fine. But we build community differently, we parent differently, and we're helping to make suburbia queerer, and more inclusive. In a generation "suburbia" is going to mean something less sinister. Which is awesome!

    Well, @orfeo raised the question of whether the increase in the number of young women identifying as bi was because of societal pressure, or because of some internal change in women.

    My guess is that it's more to do with societal pressure (and that several decades ago there were just as many women who were bi, but they tended to repress that because of societal censure, but that's only a guess.

    What I was really getting at are the fraction of people that are coupled. If roughly equal numbers of both sexes are bi, or gay, then moving from a society where there's heavy social pressure to form hetero relationships even if you're not inclined in that direction to one that affirms all kinds of relationships doesn't really alter the chances of anyone finding a partner.

    But if lots of women are bi, but few men are bi (and the number of gay men and women aren't too different) then the outcome is quite different depending on the choices that those bi women make. If we were to take as a starting point the assumption that a bi person would be equally likely to fall for and marry a man as a woman, and we assume (following the article in the OP) that there are an additional 20% of bi young women who aren't "matched" by bi young men, then that seems to suggest that an additional 10% of the male population will be unsuccessful at finding a partner.

    I'll note that 10% is about the imbalance between the male and female population in India.

    Telford wrote: »
    One is in a hetrosexual relationship or a homosexual relationship. Is there such a thing as a bi-sexual relationship ?

    @amybo has told us that she is a bisexual woman, married to a man, and identifies her marriage as "queer". @Arethosemyfeet has told us that he is a man, married to a bisexual woman, and does not identify his marriage as "queer".

    To clarify I'm still not sure what it means for a marriage to be "queer".
  • To clarify I'm still not sure what it means for a marriage to be "queer".

    I'm not, either, which is why I'm hoping that amybo can unpack that a bit. I'm a straight man, married to a straight woman, and I don't think of my marriage as being fundamentally any different from that of my lesbian neighbours. So I'm curious as to what she sees as the differences. Is it just a "queer relationship" because it involves a person who isn't straight, or are there qualities of the relationship itself that are different?

    @amybo spoke about how her experience as a bi woman informs the way that she parents, although the examples that she gave (buying clothes according to the kid's preference rather than whether it comes from the pink or blue aisle, not dismissing things as "phases") are also choices that Mrs C and I make, and we're straight. Although judging by the example of most of our neighbours, we're relatively unusual in that regard.
  • amyboamybo Shipmate
    amybo wrote: »
    What I am NOT is now heterosexual. I am not nor never will be heterosexual. My relationship is monogamous, but I am still attracted to people of my own gender and other gender(s). My marriage is a queer marriage - my partner will agree.

    Fair enough. I didn't mean to imply that bi people who form a hetero relationship necessarily become straight (any more than a bi person in a same-sex relationship is gay), so I'm sorry if my wording gave that impression.

    I also don't want to assume that sexuality is necessarily constant over time. I think it probably usually is, but I'm not wedded to the idea that it has to be (and I don't actually think it really matters much.)

    amybo wrote: »
    Back to what I think you were implying- is that the outcome of us being married to a dude in suburbia is the same whether or not we're hetero or bi. If we're looking at stats, fine. But we build community differently, we parent differently, and we're helping to make suburbia queerer, and more inclusive. In a generation "suburbia" is going to mean something less sinister. Which is awesome!

    Well, @orfeo raised the question of whether the increase in the number of young women identifying as bi was because of societal pressure, or because of some internal change in women.

    My guess is that it's more to do with societal pressure (and that several decades ago there were just as many women who were bi, but they tended to repress that because of societal censure, but that's only a guess.

    What I was really getting at are the fraction of people that are coupled. If roughly equal numbers of both sexes are bi, or gay, then moving from a society where there's heavy social pressure to form hetero relationships even if you're not inclined in that direction to one that affirms all kinds of relationships doesn't really alter the chances of anyone finding a partner.

    But if lots of women are bi, but few men are bi (and the number of gay men and women aren't too different) then the outcome is quite different depending on the choices that those bi women make. If we were to take as a starting point the assumption that a bi person would be equally likely to fall for and marry a man as a woman, and we assume (following the article in the OP) that there are an additional 20% of bi young women who aren't "matched" by bi young men, then that seems to suggest that an additional 10% of the male population will be unsuccessful at finding a partner.

    I'll note that 10% is about the imbalance between the male and female population in India.

    Telford wrote: »
    One is in a hetrosexual relationship or a homosexual relationship. Is there such a thing as a bi-sexual relationship ?

    @amybo has told us that she is a bisexual woman, married to a man, and identifies her marriage as "queer". @Arethosemyfeet has told us that he is a man, married to a bisexual woman, and does not identify his marriage as "queer".

    To clarify I'm still not sure what it means for a marriage to be "queer".

    Fair enough. Queer has become an umbrella term for LGBTQ+ - and I use it carefully; some LGBTQ+ people see it as a slur and do not appreciate it. I only use it lightly and when I am explicitly identifying myself as bisexual, in a space that I have judged to be safe to use it.

    In the context I used it, I meant not heterosexual. My marriage has a person who is not heterosexual in it, therefore it is not exclusively heterosexual. I'm bi. I am attracted to women as well as men (and non-binary people too). My identity does not change based on my husband's bits, no matter how interesting they may be.

    I'm not sometimes heterosexual and sometimes lesbian, I'm something different- I'm bi. Nobody else gets to qualify or label my sexuality differently than I do.

    I'm sticking my neck out here because as a young bi person I had a lot of problems (including major depression - we have a higher rate) because there was no SPACE for me to be bi. I was supposed to "choose". I hope that by discussing this, I can help make space for other bi and pan people.
  • GwaiGwai Epiphanies Host
    I have opinions on what makes a marriage queer, but instead I am going to keep out of that and step in as Host.

    @Telford, please be careful about giving other people labels. @amybo and @Arethosemyfeet are entirely free to define and label their marriages, but the rest of us should not give their marriages our own labels. In other words, feel free to question, but please question respectfully and do not label others.

    @Leorning Cniht Please don't junior host. Do speak your truth, which can include discomfort with something others said. (And can include PMing us.)

    Gwai,
    Epiphanies Host
  • amybo wrote: »
    amybo wrote: »
    What I am NOT is now heterosexual. I am not nor never will be heterosexual. My relationship is monogamous, but I am still attracted to people of my own gender and other gender(s). My marriage is a queer marriage - my partner will agree.

    Fair enough. I didn't mean to imply that bi people who form a hetero relationship necessarily become straight (any more than a bi person in a same-sex relationship is gay), so I'm sorry if my wording gave that impression.

    I also don't want to assume that sexuality is necessarily constant over time. I think it probably usually is, but I'm not wedded to the idea that it has to be (and I don't actually think it really matters much.)

    amybo wrote: »
    Back to what I think you were implying- is that the outcome of us being married to a dude in suburbia is the same whether or not we're hetero or bi. If we're looking at stats, fine. But we build community differently, we parent differently, and we're helping to make suburbia queerer, and more inclusive. In a generation "suburbia" is going to mean something less sinister. Which is awesome!

    Well, @orfeo raised the question of whether the increase in the number of young women identifying as bi was because of societal pressure, or because of some internal change in women.

    My guess is that it's more to do with societal pressure (and that several decades ago there were just as many women who were bi, but they tended to repress that because of societal censure, but that's only a guess.

    What I was really getting at are the fraction of people that are coupled. If roughly equal numbers of both sexes are bi, or gay, then moving from a society where there's heavy social pressure to form hetero relationships even if you're not inclined in that direction to one that affirms all kinds of relationships doesn't really alter the chances of anyone finding a partner.

    But if lots of women are bi, but few men are bi (and the number of gay men and women aren't too different) then the outcome is quite different depending on the choices that those bi women make. If we were to take as a starting point the assumption that a bi person would be equally likely to fall for and marry a man as a woman, and we assume (following the article in the OP) that there are an additional 20% of bi young women who aren't "matched" by bi young men, then that seems to suggest that an additional 10% of the male population will be unsuccessful at finding a partner.

    I'll note that 10% is about the imbalance between the male and female population in India.

    Telford wrote: »
    One is in a hetrosexual relationship or a homosexual relationship. Is there such a thing as a bi-sexual relationship ?

    @amybo has told us that she is a bisexual woman, married to a man, and identifies her marriage as "queer". @Arethosemyfeet has told us that he is a man, married to a bisexual woman, and does not identify his marriage as "queer".

    To clarify I'm still not sure what it means for a marriage to be "queer".

    Fair enough. Queer has become an umbrella term for LGBTQ+ - and I use it carefully; some LGBTQ+ people see it as a slur and do not appreciate it. I only use it lightly and when I am explicitly identifying myself as bisexual, in a space that I have judged to be safe to use it.

    In the context I used it, I meant not heterosexual. My marriage has a person who is not heterosexual in it, therefore it is not exclusively heterosexual. I'm bi. I am attracted to women as well as men (and non-binary people too). My identity does not change based on my husband's bits, no matter how interesting they may be.

    I'm not sometimes heterosexual and sometimes lesbian, I'm something different- I'm bi. Nobody else gets to qualify or label my sexuality differently than I do.

    I'm sticking my neck out here because as a young bi person I had a lot of problems (including major depression - we have a higher rate) because there was no SPACE for me to be bi. I was supposed to "choose". I hope that by discussing this, I can help make space for other bi and pan people.

    I'm familiar with the wider use of and identification as queer, and its history as a pejorative term, I just wasn't sure its applicability to marriage (regardless of the plumbing or gender identity of the spouses). Would it be fair to say that the "queerness" of your marriage resides in your sexuality and your shared decision to seek to avoid enforcing gender norms on your children? By those lights my marriage is queer too but it would never have occurred to me that it needed that identity.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host, Epiphanies Host
    I’m wondering if it might be more helpful to our understanding to recognise that, by mutual commitment, a marriage may not be “open”, but sexually exclusive. A bi person may be committed to monogamy and that commitment means that they have decided to be celibate in their expression of one aspect of their nature.

    Any couple can commit to “forsaking all others” but the sexual dynamics of the marriage are different if one of them is bi and the other isn’t. The bi person is living with a different sort of constraint to the straight one.

    I will have been happily monogamous in a straight marriage for 53 years in two weeks time. That’s involved some self restraint. But it feels to me that a more difficult kind of restraint is involved if you are bi and committed to monogamy.

    I’m not sure I’m right about that, however. I’d be interested to hear from others.
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    Monogamy means you're sticking with one person to the exclusion of all the other people you're attracted to. I understood @amybo to be making this point earlier. The gender of the people you're not having sex with really isn't that relevant.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host, Epiphanies Host
    True. But I think the self-restraint may be different. Trying to put myself in bi moccasins is an act of imagination and I could be way off beam, but I sense it produces what I tentatively describe as a "half-celibate" life. It feels awkward!
  • This seems to be a very sex-focused way of thinking. You seem to be asserting that man-sex and woman-sex are both desirable things, and a monogamous bi person is denying themselves half of this sexual experience, whereas a monogamous straight man is (possibly) getting all the woman-sex he wants, and he doesn't want any man-sex, so he's not missing out.

    I'm a straight man. I want to have sex with my wife, because I love her. I meet other women on a daily basis that I find sexually attractive, but I don't want to have sex with them. I'm quite sure that sex with one of those other women would be different from sex with my wife - they are different people, and will have different preferences and habits. But I don't feel that I'm in any sense "missing out" because one of these women might be in to something that my wife isn't.
  • amyboamybo Shipmate
    Barnabas62 wrote: »
    True. But I think the self-restraint may be different. Trying to put myself in bi moccasins is an act of imagination and I could be way off beam, but I sense it produces what I tentatively describe as a "half-celibate" life. It feels awkward!

    Bi isn't half straight half gay. THAT would be awkward. It's a bunch, maybe everybody. (Pan is everybody, although us older folks tend to just use bi.)

    So I'm no more or less celibate than any other monogamous person. I'm not missing out being with any woman or non-binary person any more than I'm missing out on being with any other man.

    This seems to be a very sex-focused way of thinking.

    Thank you 10,000x for saying that!
  • LouiseLouise Epiphanies Host
    edited May 18
    This issue, what makes a marriage or committed partnership queer, affects me too, though I am the cis het partner. I feel very vulnerable to people's prejudices, as I know when people come out with hateful things they are endangering people like my partner and it can be simply horrible to sit in the room with old friends who he's not out to who've imbibed various sorts of prejudice and who emit it without thinking someone affected is in front of them. It affects me worse than him as I feel so protective and angry. On the plus side, lots of the horrible stuff about gender roles that I grew up with just isn't in my relationship and I feel very free to be myself.

    I can't quite articulate this fully yet but there's a link to why I posted that article. It made me think about ways in which I was definitely not normally gender conforming for my upbringing and I wondered how I might describe myself if I was growing up now.

    One of the ways I'm lucky is that my partner doesn't expect me to conform in the ways I was expected to conform growing up. What's hard to articulate is that I think the gender roles I grew up with were sexist, rigid and wrong, and that ideas of what women and men can be like should be more elastic and less heavily policed with criticism, prejudice, mocking and bullying. I know I also fit into the categories of women who get targeted for misogyny for not fitting into expected gender roles as theorised by the philosopher Kate Manne (misogyny as a policing device for women who don't fit expected gender roles). So I find it interesting to think about being in some ways a gender non-conforming cis het woman, and having a genderqueer partner with his tolerant attitudes about gender definitely makes being me easier.
  • This is a topic I have previously discussed with my adult children. Amongst their circle of friends there are some females who identify as bi, but who have only, so far, dated men. I get the impression that very few of their age group identify as purely heterosexual.

    My son has challenged my own identification as heterosexual by claiming that no-one is 100% heterosexual. He would define me as a bi-romantic heterosexual (i.e. not remotely interested in a sexual relationship with a woman, but relating intensely to some female poets / writers / musicians).

    He's probably right, and perhaps that is how I might identify if I were in my twenties.
  • My son has challenged my own identification as heterosexual by claiming that no-one is 100% heterosexual. He would define me as a bi-romantic heterosexual (i.e. not remotely interested in a sexual relationship with a woman, but relating intensely to some female poets / writers / musicians).

    I'm a bit confused by the statement "my son says I'm not heterosexual ... he would define me as ... heterosexual". My understanding was that "bi-romantic" and "heterosexual" are orthogonal.

    I've heard the "nobody is 100% heterosexual" thing before, and I'm not convinced by it. There seems to be a touch of the "no true Scotsman" about it.
  • I'm a bit confused by the statement "my son says I'm not heterosexual ... he would define me as ... heterosexual".

    I'm confused too. My point was that I'm getting the impression that identifying oneself simply as "heterosexual" didn't seem to be a thing at either of my children's universities.
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    I can accept the theoretical notion that no-one is 100% heterosexual or 100% homosexual. But really, one can be near enough to it as to make little practical difference.

    I would hope, of course, that NEQ's son is not so biased as to not the make same claim against 100% homosexuality as he does for the heterosexual version.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host, Epiphanies Host
    I appreciated the explanations, thanks. Always open to learn. I didn’t regard bisexuality as being binary at all, but I could imagine there being unrequited desire in a monogamous relationship.
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