Are views about sex and sexuality changing?

There is some evidence of broad changes in views about sex and sexuality in the UK. For example, there is greater acceptance of sexual relations outside of marriage and of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) sexualities, and there has been a growth in the diversity of sexual communities[50].

In 1983, 28% of people in the UK thought sex before marriage was ‘always’ or ‘mostly’ wrong. In 2007 this had fallen to 11%. 62% thought sexual relations between adults of the same sex were wrong, compared to 36% in 2007. 37% agreed that a woman who decides that she does not want a child should be allowed to have an abortion compared to 60% in 2007[51]. The numbers of people living together and getting married have changed, with marriages declining and cohabiting couples increasing since the 1970s. Increasing numbers of people are living alone (29%, and more in urban areas)[52], and there is increasing diversity in arrangements such as people living communally or couples ‘living apart together’[53]. Shifting views towards same sex relationships are reflected in the introduction of civil partnerships and same sex marriage.

What types of sex are people having?

50. Jackson, S. & Scott, S. (2010). Theorizing Sexuality. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
51. British Social Attitudes 28, http://ir2.flife.de/data/natcen-social-research/igb_html/index.php?bericht_id=1000001index=lang=ENG
52. Office for National Statistics (2012). Families and Households. London: ONS, http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171778_284823.pdf
53. Neustatter, A. (2012). A Home for the Heart. London: Gibson Square Books.

What types of sex are people having?

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