A new study found out that 1 in 5 teenagers are sexually fluid, which means they will experience changes in their sexual orientation as they grow up.
The study was conducted by researchers from the University of North Carolina, North Carolina State University, and the University of Pittsburgh.
The study found that 1 in 5 teens are going to experience fluidity in their sexual orientation.
Researchers tracked 744 students from the United States for 3 years, and it found out that 19 percent of students reported at least one change within their sexual identity.
Some students who called themselves as “heterosexual” in the first year of the study went to change their identity as “bisexual” in the second year.
The data that is showed in the study was collected between 2014 and 2016.
54 percent were girls and 46 percent were boys in the study, and they all came from the rural south of the United States.
The study was published in the Journal of Adolescence.
In the published study, it stated that teens reported more than one change in their sexual orientation throughout 3 years.
A student who called themselves a “heterosexual” became “bisexual” a year after they made the claim, and in the third year, they identified themselves as “heterosexual” again.
Stewart, a Ph.D. Candidate at the North Carolina State, who is also the lead author of the paper, said, “This work highlights the fluidity that many adolescents experience in terms of how they label their sexuality and who they feel sexually attracted to.”
He added, “Some adolescents shifted between sexual minority identities and/or attractions – gay or lesbian, bisexual, etc. as well as varying degrees of same-sex attractions – across all three years.”
Stewart continued, “Others fluctuated between heterosexual and sexual minority groups. And when we looked at the extent to which sexual identity, attraction, and sexual behavior aligned, we saw some interesting trends.”
Most of the changes were made by girls.
The study found out that 31 percent of the female students reported changes, and only 10 percent of the boys reported changes.
The author also talked about the changes for girls.
Stewart said, “The results for boys mirrored those for girls, albeit to a lesser degree. Adolescence is a time of identity exploration, and sexual orientation is one aspect of that. One takeaway here is that the process of sexual identity development is quite nuanced for a lot of teens.”
Stewart added, “And based on research with young adults, we expect these patterns will continue for many people into their late 20s and even beyond. To be clear, we’re talking about internally driven changes in sexual orientation. This research does not suggest these changes can be imposed on an individual and does not support the idea of conversion therapy.”
Stewart continued, “There’s ample evidence that conversion therapy is harmful and does not influence anyone’s sexual orientation.”