Being thirty in the modern world is no easy feat. In fact, it might just be harder now than ever. Every show we’ve ever watched and every magazine article we’ve ever read tells us that by the age of thirty life must be pretty much all figured out. But in reality, this is not the case. We only begin to stabilize our psychological development in our thirties and that can be a long road from there.
As we age and mature so do our tastes and beliefs. We can transition from the person we were just ten or even five years earlier. According to the latest research, some drastic transitions can also happen to sexual preferences and sexual orientation during this time. It seems like women, much more than men, are switching to same-sex relationships at a higher rate than any other in this age group. Though it is easy to speculate about, there is no one single answer to why exactly more women shift to other genders in search of a reliable partner. But the researchers are giving us some idea of what might be going on from a scientific point of view.
“It’s Certainly A Shift,” Says Dr. Sheryl Kingsberg
The research shows that a rebirth in women after the age of 30 and 40 isn’t rare to see. Dr. Sheryl Kingsberg, a professor in the OB/GYN sector at University Hospital Cleveland Medical Center, points out that many patients in her care went through the significant changes in their sexual orientation as they crossed in their third decade of life. One of the most interesting things is that most of the women in question claimed to be in happily committed in heterosexual relationships before the shift. Dr. Kingsberg says the causes behind the transition might vary: “Maybe it’s hormonal, maybe it’s neuroendocrine —an epigenetic shift in brain chemistry that is hormone-based. But it’s certainly a shift.”
Another researcher – Dr. Lisa Diamond, a developmental psychology professor at the University of Utah, suggests that apart from being hormonal, the changes in sexual preferences might also be entirely circumstantial. Dr. Diamond took part in a study that focused on analyzing the lives of 79 women, each of whom identified as lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, or undecided. During the course of the study, reports showed that approximately two-thirds of participants went through shifts of different levels of significance at some point over a 10 year period.
The thing that the study highlights the most is that despite the perception of it or the social stigma, that just because your sexuality shifts it does not devalue the previous orientation. “One of the risks of the “repressed lesbian” narrative is that it leads women to feel that their previous relationships with men must have been “fake” or “inauthentic.” It’s completely possible that a woman had a totally satisfying history of relationships with men, and is now experiencing a totally new and equally satisfying relationship with women,” – shares Dr. Diamond.
It’s Never Too Late To Be A Lesbian
As we see this shift happening in women in higher numbers, it is important that we fully comprehend the process and change the social perception. The one thing we need to remember is that gender is fluid. Which means it can change and develop into other forms of expression of love at any time. With extenuating circumstances or even just on its own. Accepting the change and avoiding looking for reasons to blame anyone is the healthiest way to deal with the transition. After all isn’t it a beautiful thing that at the age when women are told they are on the start to decline and past their prime, a new wave starts and brings along a whole new set of emotions and experiences. And as Dr. Diamond said: “Your sexual future might actually be pretty dynamic and exciting – and whatever went on in your past might not be the best predictor at all of what your future has in store.”