Gen Z continue to be the frontrunners for change and strive towards a more progressive and inclusive world. These progressive views extend towards individual sexuality, as was recently demonstrated by a study, published by the American Psychological Association. The study showed that the majority of Gen Z participants, who identified as gay, bisexual or attracted to people regardless of their gender, reported being ‘out’ to their parents. Further, that 66% had come out to their mothers and 49% were out to their fathers. A stark increase compared to 20 years ago. In the 1990s, an estimated 40% of adolescents were out to their mothers and less than 30% out to their fathers.
In addition, younger generations, are breaking away from binary notions of gender and sexuality – Gen Z is more likely to identify as something other than heterosexual. Further, one in six Gen Z adults identifies as LGBTQ+; an increase from previous research in 2017.
The rise of the internet is thought to be one of the key reasons for this growth. The internet is laden with information on gender and sexuality. It provides a safe space for people to express themselves. As a result, the awareness of differences and the visibility of ‘the other’ have become much more apparent. Today’s teenagers have all the information they need at their fingertips. Plus, they have more access to support from people within the LGBTQ+ community.
The tight constructs surrounding gender and sexuality are gradually breaking down and not just for young people. It is just the younger generations who are leading this revolution and forcing older generations to step up. Gen Z has already over-taken millennials as the largest, most diverse and well-educated generation. They are forcing brands to show their true colours. So, are you as a brand prepared to move forward with Generation Z towards a more progressive and inclusive future? The generational overlap and how brands can benefit from this will be discussed further in our upcoming webinar.