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Generation Z: A Lot Less Heteronormed Than Generation Y

(Blogmensgo, gay blog of May 10, 2016) Compared to Generation Y (age group 21-35 years), Generation Z (13-20 years) is much more gay-friendly, less uptight about gender issues and much more open about sexual diversity. These are the results of a recent survey by JWT Intelligence.

About terminology

As a reminder, here are some details to the terms Generation Y (Gen Y or millenials) and Generation Z, which are frequently used in marketing and publicity.

Generation Z (Gen Z) refers to the age group of 13 to 20 year, i.e. people born between 1995 and 2001. Their predecessors, Generation Y, born between 1980 and 1995, are between 20 and 35 years old now. People born between 1960 and 1980 are frequently referred to as Generation X.

Sociologists do not always agree on the exact birth years. However, the study by JWT Intelligence defines Gen Z today as between 13 and 20 years old, and Gen Y as between 21 and 34.

Let us point out also that the study is based on a rather small sample of 600 people in the USA (300 between 13 and 20 years, 151 between 21 and 27 years and 149 between 28 and 34 years).
Unfortunately, there are some mistakes in the tables, and we do not find very precise data on the sample, the questionnaire distribution and so on.

Heterosexual – but not exclusively

The only common point between Gen Z and Gen Y is the proportion of 6 % of the people who define as homosexual exclusively.

Infographics about sexuality

Less than half of the young people define themselves as completely heterosexual. ©jwtintelligence-com.

65% of Gen Y but only 48% of Gen Z define themselves as completely heterosexual, and consequently 24% of Gen Y but 35% of Gen Z define themselves as partly bisexual.

Less than half of Generation Z consider themselves as completely straight, and 38% think that gender does not define a person as much anymore as it used to.

Opposed to firm gender roles

Do people systematically and exclusively buy product that correspond to their gender role? Yes – but only 26% in Gen Y and 19% in Gen Z, and only when it is about sports articles.

Infographics: Gender questions

“I am more open in gender questions than the generation before me.” ©jwtintelligence-com.

The situation looks similar for other articles: For Generation Z, gender is less firmly linked to shopping habits than for Generation Y.


Knowledge about diversity promotes its acceptance: More than half (56%) of the Gen Z participants know someone who prefers a neutral designation (they/them/ze…) as opposed to the traditional ones (he/him or she/her).

This knowledge and acceptance decreases for older age groups. It is only 47% for the age group 21-27 and only 43% for age group 28-34.

What is more, Gen Z is much more relaxed about the question of public restrooms and administrative gender. 70% of Gen Z is for neutral restrooms but only 58% in age group 21-27 or 56% in age group 28-34.

One this is for sure: The more open and tolerant young people are the voters of tomorrow.

Frank-S / MensGo
(Via J. Walter Thompson Intelligence of March 11, 2016)

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