People who self-identify as queer are likely to be younger and more highly educated than other sexual minorities, new research claims.
The study by the Williams Institute at UCLA in the US found that almost four in 10 queer adults had a university degree – a greater proportion than any other group within the LGBTIQ umbrella.
By comparison, 32% of lesbians and gay men and 17% of bisexual people had the same level of education.
The research has revealed that queer is an increasingly common non-heterosexual identity, Gay Star News has reported.
While the majority of LGBTIQ people identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, other labels have surged in popularity to become a “sizable” part of the community, the researchers said.
Study author Ilan Meyer said that the term queer could have different connotations for people within the community.
“Some older people learned it as a derogatory term,” he said.
“But later it was claimed by academics as a critical term and field of study, and some young people may perceive it as an identity that is more fluid than ‘lesbian’ and ‘gay’.
“Queer identity seems to represent greater openness to partners of all gender identities.”
Among those in the study, 6% identified as queer, and another 7% as pansexual or another identity.
Most were young people, with more than three quarters aged between 18 and 25.
The study found that more than half of those embracing the queer label were cisgender women, and another third were non-binary.
Queer people were also more likely to report being attracted to trans and non-binary people.
Almost two thirds of queer cis women said they were attracted to both cis and trans women, compared to 20% of lesbians and 38% of bisexual cis women.
Queer cis women were also the most likely group to have a trans male partner.
Men identifying as queer were similarly more likely to be attracted to trans and non-binary people, with almost three quarters saying they were attracted to both cis and trans men.
The researchers said that queer people are a distinct group within the LGBTIQ community.
“We find in this study that queer individuals make up a sizeable proportion of sexual minorities, who are distinct in a number of important ways from other sexual minority people, both in terms of demographic characteristics and sexuality, and across gender identity,” said lead author Shoshana Goldberg.
“Additional research is needed to fully understand this population.”