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Some researchers say that men can have ‘women’s brains’ and that women can think more like men. Get a brain sex profile and find out if you think like a man or a woman. See if you can gaze into someone’s eyes and know what they’re thinking. Find out why scientists are interested in the length of your fingers. See how your results relate to theories about brain sex.

From how often we do it to what we do, BBC Future explores the wide spectrum of sexual desires and behaviours. Let’s face it, human sexuality is complicated. Needless to say, this comes with some serious caveats. Surveys of sexual behaviour are unreliable: given that talking about sex can still be taboo, participants may not reveal the whole truth, or, conversely, they may feel the need to embellish their answers with bravado. These statistics aren’t the gospel truth, but should be read more as a general indication, given the evidence to date, of the range of sex lives in the 21st Century. This data was based on the Global Sex Survey in the US, which has included more than 50,000 respondents over the age of 18. And although frequency of intercourse drops with age, it may not be as low as you imagine.

These figures were based on an anonymous survey of nearly 2,000 respondents, aged 18-59, in the US, who were asked to say what behaviours they engaged in the last time they had sex. Although lesbian women report having sex less frequently than gay men or heterosexual couples, it seems to be a case when less is more, according to an online survey in Canada and the US. Source: Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality. US found a relatively high number of men had also pretended to orgasm at some point during a range of sexual activities. The reason, as you might expect, was often that they didn’t feel in the mood but had not wanted to upset their partner.

David Robson is BBC Future’s feature writer. Olivia Howitt is BBC Future’s picture editor. If you liked this story, sign up for the weekly bbc. A handpicked selection of stories from BBC Future, Earth, Culture, Capital, Travel and Autos, delivered to your inbox every Friday. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read about our approach to external linking. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland have evolved dramatically over time.

Before and during the formation of the United Kingdom, Christianity and homosexuality clashed. Same-sex sexual activity was characterised as “sinful” and, under the Buggery Act 1533, was outlawed and punishable by death. Since the turn of the 21st century, LGBT rights have increasingly strengthened in support. Some discrimination protections had existed for LGBT people since 1999, but were extended to all areas under the Equality Act 2010. In 2000, Her Majesty’s Armed Forces removed its ban on LGBT individuals serving openly. Today, LGBT citizens have most of the same legal rights as non-LGBT citizens and the UK provides one of the highest degrees of liberty in the world for its LGBT communities. A 2010 Integrated Household Survey estimated 1.

Someone may engage in sexual behaviour with someone of the same sex but still not perceive themselves as gay. Although section 61 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861 removed the death penalty for homosexuality, male homosexual acts remained illegal and were punishable by imprisonment. In Scotland, there were no statutes making sex between men unlawful between 1424 and 1707, but homosexual acts were punishable. One example is the commission for trial of Gavin Bell. In the early 1950s, the police actively enforced laws prohibiting sexual behaviour between men. By the end of 1954, there were 1,069 gay men in prison in England and Wales, with an average age of 37.

In October 1957, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher, spoke in support of the Wolfenden Report, saying that “There is a sacred realm of privacy into which the law, generally speaking, must not intrude. This is a principle of the utmost importance for the preservation of human freedom, self-respect, and responsibility. The Sexual Offences Act 1967 was accordingly passed and received royal assent on 27 July 1967 after an intense late night debate in the House of Commons. The 1967 Act extended only to England and Wales. In 1979, the Home Office Policy Advisory Committee’s Working Party report, “Age of Consent in Relation to Sexual Offences”, recommended that the age of consent for same-sex sexual activities be reduced from 21 to 18, but no such legislation was enacted as a result.

In February 1994, Parliament considered reform of the law on rape and other sexual offences during the passage of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill. In its decision of 1 July 1997, in the case of Sutherland v. The Government reintroduced the bill in 1999. With the prospect of it being passed by the Commons in two successive sessions of Parliament, the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 were available to enact the bill should the Lords have rejected it a third time. On 1 May 2004, the Sexual Offences Act 2003 entered into force, which swept away all of the previous sex-specific legislation, including the 1967 Act, and introduced instead neutral offences. Thus, the previous conditions relating to privacy were removed, and sexual acts were viewed by the law without regard to the sex of the participants. On 31 January 2017, the Policing and Crime Act 2017 went into effect after being given royal assent.