More than half of LGBTQ singles in the US have dated someone they met online, according to a new study by dating site Match.com.
The dating giant has just released the findings of its latest research, which looks at the changing attitudes & dating behaviours of LGBTQ singles, as well as some of the challenges faced by the community.
For the study, Match.com surveyed more than 1,000 US LGBTQ singles aged 18 to 70 and above, asking them to share their feelings on areas such as modern dating habits, marriage and coming out.
LGBTQ dating habits
According to Match, 56% of LGBTQ singles in the US have dated someone they first connected with online, with 46% of participants confirming that last year, they met a date directly through a dating app.
During its research, the site found that transgender singles date the most online (65%), with 47% of LGBTQ singles saying they are open to dating someone who is transgender – however 44% said they would not consider dating them.
In terms of highlighting their trans identity to a date, 61% of transgender singles said they tell their dates before the first meeting, with a further 15% doing so on the first date, and 12% by the third date.
When it comes to sexual partners, Match found that the typical American gay man has had 30 lifetime sexual partners, and lesbian women have on average 12 sexual partners.
Sexting also appears to be relatively popular amongst LGBTQ singles in the US, with 50% saying they had sent a sexually explicit photo of themselves, with bisexual women and gay men sending the most.
Views on marriage
The ongoing changes in both legal and cultural attitudes towards same-sex marriage across the US are an important topic in the LGBTQ community, with 63% of gay and lesbian singles saying they have always wanted to get married.
The US Supreme Court’s decision on marriage equality had a varying affect on the community, with 17% of LGBTQ singles noting they may be changing their mind about marriage as a result, with 61% claiming the decision had no effect on their attitudes toward marriage.
Having children is also an important life choice for many younger LGBTQ singles (48%), with Match finding that lesbian women are the most likely to want kids (52%), and gay men being the least likely to want kids (36%).
The new study also provides some key insights into how members of the American LGBTQ single community perceive their sexual orientation, and at what age they realised their sexuality.
Age of realisation
Most gay, lesbian, and bisexual US singles (64%) share the belief that sexual orientation is biological, while 28% think it is a combination of both biology and experience.
With regards to the age at which a person realises their sexuality, this generally varies depending on the sexuality each individual identifies with.
According to Match, 25% of men realised they were gay when they were less than 10 years old, 50% by 13 years old, and 75% by 18 years old.
And for lesbian women, 25% realised by 12 years old, 50% at 15 years old, and 75% by the time they were 20 to 21 years old.
Commenting on the findings, Match’s Scientific Advisor Dr. Justin Garcia said: “Today’s society is full of rich gender and sexual diversity, however relatively little is known about the dating experiences of LGBTQ people.
“Nearly half of the LGBTQ population in America identifies as single, and a vast majority of these singles, some 80 percent, are seeking a committed relationship.
“By expanding our annual Singles in America study to include more people of diverse identities, including gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans, we are beginning to address these knowledge gaps to better understand singles today.”
See the full results of the survey here.