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Affinity Workshop: Queer in AI

Evolving Label Usage within Generation Z when Self-Describing Sexual Orientation

Wilson Lee · J Hobbs

Keywords: [ sexual orientation ] [ lgbtq ] [ generation z ] [ Natural Language Processing ]


Evaluating change in ranked term importance in a growing corpus is a powerful tool for understanding changes in vocabulary usage. In this paper, we analyze a corpus of free-response answers where 33,993 LGBTQ Generation Z respondents from age 13 to 24 in the United States are asked to self-describe their sexual orientation. We observe that certain labels, such as bisexual, pansexual, and lesbian, remain equally important across age groups. The importance of other labels, such as homosexual, demisexual, and omnisexual, evolve across age groups. Although Generation Z is often stereotyped as homogenous, we observe noticeably different label usage when self-describing sexual orientation within it. We urge that interested parties must routinely survey the most important sexual orientation labels to their target audience and refresh their materials (such as demographic surveys) to reflect the constantly evolving LGBTQ community and create an inclusive environment.

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