The Rise of the Digisexual
In Meet Generation Z, I wrote that one of the defining marks of Generation Z was the embrace of sexual fluidity.
Here’s a sampling from that work:
Generation Z has become sexually and relationally amorphous. Consider the influential statements by outspoken young celebrities such as Kristen Stewart, Miley Cyrus and Cara Delevingne. Stewart, when asked about her sexuality said, “I think in three or four years, there are going to be a whole lot more people who don’t think it’s necessary to figure out if you’re gay or straight. It’s like, just do your thing.” And from Miley Cyrus: “[I don’t] relate to being boy or girl, and I don’t have to have my partner relate to boy or girl.”
They are not alone.
A recent U.K. study revealed that nearly half of all young people don’t think they are exclusively heterosexual. The YouGov survey revealed that 49% of people between the ages of 18 and 24 identified as something other than 100% heterosexual. This despite the repeated findings that only about 4% of the entire adult population are actually homosexual. What is being revealed is an increasing “sexual fluidity” … Sexuality should be set free of any and all restrictions and allowed to follow its desire, moment by moment.
Why? Because the greatest value for this generation is nothing less than individual freedom.
From this, a new cultural dictionary has exploded onto the scene dealing with all things sexual such as the rise of the “digisexual.”
You’re not alone.
Here’s a quick primer on some new words you might want to familiarize yourself with:
Androsexual – primarily attracted to men
Asexual – experiencing little or no attraction to others
Bicurious – curiosity about having attraction to people of the same gender/sex
Cisgender – a person whose gender identity and biological sex assigned at birth align
Demisexual – little or no capacity to experience sexual attraction until a strong romantic or emotional connection is formed
Digisexual – primary sexual identity coming through the use of technology
Gynesexual – primary attracted to women
Pansexual – a person who experiences attraction for members of all gender identities/expressions
Skoliosexual – being primarily attracted to genderqueer, transgender, transsexual and non-binary people
Third gender – a person who does not identify with either man or woman
Transgender – a person who lives as a member of a gender other than that assigned at birth based on anatomical sex
Transsexual – a person who identifies psychologically as a gender/sex other than the one to which they were assigned at birth
That pretty much covers it. Except you should notice one category that has gone missing. It’s no longer in fashion and rather passé, but it might be worth mentioning in passing:
James Emery White
James Emery White, Meet Generation Z (Baker).
Sarah Knapton, “Rise of the 'Digisexual' as Virtual Reality Bypasses Need for Human Intimacy,” The Telegraph, November 26, 2017, read online.
About the Author
James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and the ranked adjunctive professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president. His latest book, Meet Generation Z: Understanding and Reaching the New Post-Christian World, is available on Amazon. To enjoy a free subscription to the Church & Culture blog, visit ChurchAndCulture.org, where you can view past blogs in our archive and read the latest church and culture news from around the world. Follow Dr. White on twitter @JamesEmeryWhite.