Only two-thirds of young people describe themselves as heterosexual, a survey reveals.
The remaining third of those aged 16 to 22 say they are attracted to those of the same sex at least some of the time, although nearly half of these – 14 per cent – say they are ‘mostly’ heterosexual.
That contrasts with 88 per cent of baby boomers – people in their 50s and 60s – who say they are heterosexual and 6 per cent who are mostly so.
The stark generational shift in how people view their sexuality emerged in research carried out for the BBC by pollsters Ipsos Mori.
When asked if they were equally attracted to both sexes, 9 per cent of 16 to 22-year-olds said yes, compared with only 1 per cent of baby boomers.
New survey carried out for the BBC by Ipsos Mori found huge generational difference between baby boomers born in the 50s and 60s compared to young people today
They said people their age may be more comfortable than older generations with labelling themselves gay or bisexual.
One girl said: ‘Our generation genuinely just does not care. They don’t see couples and go, “That’s a straight couple, that’s a gay couple”. They just think, “That’s a couple, those two people are in love and it doesn’t matter”.’
A boy added: ‘No one cares. You just want to be who you are. If someone is happy, who cares?’
Ipsos Mori split the 3,000 people it questioned into four categories: Generation Z (aged 16 to 22), Generation Y (23 to 37), Generation X (38 to 51) and baby boomers (52 to 71).
Among Generation X, 85 per cent described themselves as exclusively heterosexual while among Generation Y the figure was 71 per cent.
Around 10 per cent of Generation Z said prejudice towards gay, bisexual and trans people was important, compared with just 1 per cent of baby boomers.
And 20 per cent said racism was an important issue, compared with 6 per cent of baby boomers. Ten per cent of Generation Z backed free movement of people within Europe, compared with 4 per cent of baby boomers.
When asked if they were attracted to both sexes, nine per cent of young people said yes compared to one per cent of baby boomers