Those belonging to Generation Z also rejected the gender binary while shopping—only 44 percent said they always bought clothes designed for their own gender, versus 54 percent of millennials. But they also felt strongly that public spaces should provide access to gender neutral bathrooms, with 70 percent of Gen Zs coming out in support of the move compared to 57 percent of 21–34-year-olds."We did a survey of Gen Z for a report released in May 2015 and found that 81 percent said that gender doesn't define a person as much as it used to," said Shepherd Laughlin, the director of trendspotting at J. Walter Thompson."That was an intriguing statistic that got a lot of attention in the media, but we weren't sure quite what it meant: Were they just saying, for example, that men or women could pursue any career they wanted to? Or did this reflect the more radical idea that gender itself isn't as important to personal identity as it used to be, or that gender shouldn't be seen as a binary? This new research shows that the latter idea is gaining significant traction among Gen Zers."
While the survey polled less than a thousand respondents across the US, Laughlin says that he has "90 percent" confidence that the results are accurate and can be generalized for the whole country. "We're even more confident about this for this particular survey because we see clear patterns across the different questions that show that Gen Z has a more complex and less binary approach to gender than millennials," he told Broadly.
@phippstea yes open to liking any gender in future is why I identify as queer
— Rowan Blanchard (@rowblanchard)January 16, 2016
Tyler Ford, an agender writer and speaker who counts teens as the primary demographic in their thousands-strong social media followers, says that the shift in attitude can be attributed to the power of technology."I think the internet plays the greatest role in the self-discovery process today," they said. "Young people have more access to information and to other people than ever before. Marginalized folks are building communities and platforms online and are talking about their everyday experiences on public forums. I can't tell you how many times someone has written something and I think, Oh my God, that's a real thing? That's not just me? There's a name for this?"
"It's easier to push against traditional narratives when you're not the only one doing so, when you have community and support, and when you have access to the information that can help you to contextualize your life."Many of the teenagers Broadly spoke with agreed, saying that they learned about sexuality and gender online. Most cited Tumblr and social media as their primary sources of information. ("I remember first learning about non-binary genders while on Tumblr," one said.)
Now that there are terms to describe varying identities, more and more people are realizing they fit into another box or no box at all.