What is identity?

ncs 10/10/2016

How many times have you been asked to define your identity on a college application by simply ticking a box beside sexuality, gender and ethnicity?  I think we can all agree there’s more to it! So we’ve teamed up with the i newspaper for a project to hear your thoughts on some hot topics, one including...  identity (of course)! So what does it mean to you? Do you use your sexual orientation or gender to define who you are? Or maybe it’s your ethnicity? Whatever the case, identity roles have evolved over the years, and teens have shown that it’s not as black and white as it used to be.

One of the things we talked about was sexuality. People used to define sexuality as either homosexual or heterosexual. But nowadays, our research shows teens have a much more fluid take on their sexual orientation. What’s more, teens who are part of the LGBT community are ten times more likely to feel their sexual orientation defines them as people. Gender is another trait people use to identity with. But what we really wanted to see is if females and males have different meanings on identity. And guess what? They do! When we asked females, they linked intelligence, creativity and causes/citizenship to their identity whilst males linked things like ‘being funny’ to define who they are.

Finally, we also wanted to see whether 16/17 year-olds thought their ethnicity played a role in defining who they are. The study showed that 23% of black British teens and 17% Asians/British sians feel more defined by their ethnic backgrounds than the 2% of white teens. Interesting indeed!

Watch this space for other cool findings brought to you by NCS and the i!

How do you face your fears? Let us know @NCS!