Is Experimentation More Common Than Most Think?

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Conventional wisdom has it that women are more likely to experiment with their sexuality, and with other women in particular, during their undergraduate years. College campuses are seen as sexual Petri dishes, where female co-eds mix a little lesbianism into their behavior to see if there's a chemical reaction.

"That phenomenon gave rise to the term LUG (lesbian until graduation)," writes Tamar Lewin in a recent New York Times piece.

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But a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that higher education isn't a pre-req for young ladies who want to have a same-sex experience. In fact, less than 10 percent of college-educated women said they'd had a sexual encounter with another chick — compared to 15 percent of those with no high school diploma and approximately 12.5 percent of those who'd finished high school but not college.

In other words, the less education a woman has, the more likely she is to have had an erotic experience with someone of the same sex.

What does the discrepancy between that reality and the common perception (that college campuses encourage sexual exploration) mean?

Lewin writes that Amber Hollibaugh, interim executive director of Queers for Economic Justice, a New York-based advocacy group, says: "The results of the federal survey underscored how poor, minority, and working-class lesbians had been overshadowed by the mainstream cultural image of lesbians as white professionals."

Interesting point. (Lewin interviews some people with other ideas as well.)

But here's my take: Experimentation is just a lot more common all over the country than most people think. It's not something that's just happening on college campuses, where "liberal" behavior is encouraged.

What do you all think?

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