It is no secret that the social and economic pressure on the shoulders of modern 30-year-olds is tremendous. 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. Of course, this is absolutely not the case. In reality, as we approach the thirties, our psychological development only starts to stabilize. In simple words - the late twenties is the actual transition into adulthood.
And as we mature, it is also very logical that our tastes and beliefs mature alongside. According to the latest research, dramatic transitions can also happen to sexual preferences and sexual orientation altogether. While there is no single answer to why exactly more women shift to other genders in search of a reliable partner, 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
According to research, the so-called rebirth in women after the age of 30 and 40 isn't all that rare. 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 significant changes in their sexual orientation as they crossed the thirty-year mark. What is really interesting is that most of the women in question were happily committed to 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. Over 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 important takeaway from the experiment is that despite the social stigma and personal perception, the shift in sexuality does not mean that previous orientation was not a valid one. "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 more and more women experience the transition, it is important that we fully comprehend the process and change the social perception of a major shift that affects many people around us. One of the key characteristics of gender is fluidity, which means it can change and develop into other forms of expression under several factors and even 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 believed to meet the beginning of the decline of their sexuality, 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."