According to the New York Times, in the 1960s, gay men often pierced only their right ear as a covert statement of sexual preference. However, by 1991, ear piercing was so common for men that it had ceased to have any relationship to sexual orientation.
Ear piercing became extremely common for women in the United States by the 1970s. Multiple ear piercings grew popular in the late 1970s, primarily in the punk rock community. When male pop music performers and professional athletes began wearing earrings in the 1980s, piercing took off as a fashion trend for men. Piercing of both ears took hold with British men in the 1980s as well.