TABLE 1.2Percentage of Women Reporting Various Dimensions of Same-Sex (SS) Sexuality by Selected Social and Demographic Variablesa

Any SS Partners Since Pubertyb SS Activity Since Pubertyc Desire SSd Partner Identify as Homosexual or Bisexual
Total 3.8 4.3 7.5 1.4
Age
      18-29 2.9 4.0 6.7 1.6
      30-39 5.0 5.4 9.2 1.8
      40-49 4.5 4.6 8.3 1.3
      50-59 2.1 1.9 4.6 0.4
Marital status
      Never married 5.6 5.9 10.4 3.7
      Married 2.6 2.8 5.2 0.1
      Divorced, widowed, separated 4.1 5.5 9.6 1.9
Education
      Less than high school 3.3 1.8 3.3 0.4
      High school graduate 1.8 2.3 5.3 0.4
      Some college or vocational 3.9 5.1 7.3 1.2
      College graduate 6.7 7.3 12.8 3.6
Religion
      None 9.9 11.3 15.8 4.6
      Type I Protestant 2.1 2.0 5.2 0.5
      Type II Protestant 2.9 3.3 5.5 0.3
      Catholic 3.4 4.2 8.4 1.7
      Jewish 6.9 12.5 10.3 3.4
      Other 18.9 14.7 16.2 5.4
Race or ethnicity
      White 4.0 4.7 7.8 1.7
      Black 3.5 2.8 7.0 0.6
      Hispanic 3.8 3.5 7.6 1.1
Place of residence
      Top 12 central cities (CCs) 6.5 4.6 9.7 2.6
      Next 88 CCs 1.6 7.8 7.7 5.7
      Suburbs of top 12 CCs 5.7 4.1 9.0 1.9
      Suburbs of next 88 CCs 3.3 4.8 9.8 1.6
      Other urban areas 2.7 3.4 6.9 1.1
      Rural areas 2.1 2.2 2.1 0.0
a

Based on data gathered in the National Health and Social Life Survey (n = 1,749).

b

Percentage of respondents who have had a same-sex partner at any time since puberty.

c

Percentage of respondents who self-reported ever having engaged in specific sexual activities (e.g., oral sex, sex for pay) with another woman at any time since puberty.

d

Percentage who reported that they were attracted to women, or that they found sex with women to be appealing, were considered to have some degree of same-sex desire.

SOURCE: Laumann et al. (1994).

From: 1, Introduction

Cover of Lesbian Health
Lesbian Health: Current Assessment and Directions for the Future.
Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Lesbian Health Research Priorities; Solarz AL, editor.
Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1999.
Copyright © 1999, National Academy of Sciences.

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