Theatlantic.com

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Apparently the numbers are shrinking.  I remember seeing somewhere around 4% are Lesbian / gay and fewer were bisexual.  This article suggests 1.7% Lesbian / gay and 1.8% bisexual.  

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The main point of the article is that US citizens way way overestimate the number of LGBT people.  If true, why is that?  

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Some food for thought, anyway.  Throughout the history of the LGBT movement, I've sensed resentment many times, that gay men seemed so numerous as to overwhelm the smaller numbers of Lesbian and bisexual people, in voice, and activism.  If these numbers are true, gay men are outnumbered by bisexuals, especially women.  I don't know what that indicates, or even if it's true, but it's food for thought.

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In addition, the article notes "4.7 percent of the population had wandered across the line without coming to think of themselves as either gay or bisexual".  What does that mean? There are more on the DownLow than actually out?

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Interesting.  The preachers and politicians are all worked up that roughly 2 out of a hundred people want the same rights that the other 98% have, thinking it will mean the end of civilization and extinction of the human species.  What total sissies those homphobes are.

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Replies to This Discussion

No, not really.  There is ZERO rigor in this "study."  I would even hesitate to call it a study; and as surveys go, it was mighty sloppy, not controlling for LOTS of known confounding variables.

The very fact that there are such wildly varying numbers between this and other surveys suggests - no, screams - that there are serious methodological problems with these "surveys."  

I will not address the question of female homosexuality below; it is male homosexuality that is so emotionally charged in USAnian culture, so that is why I am addressing it here:

Back in the 1990's, The Advocate commissioned a methodologically rigorous study - not just a survey - that produced numbers that ran the gamut, from 1.2% of U.S. males who are exclusively homosexual and claimed to have never experienced a sexual arousal caused by a person of the opposite sex in their entire lives, to 60% for the number of men, who, by the age of 54, had experienced at least one sexual arousal caused by a person of the same sex, at some time in their lives.  So as you can see, the numbers for how many gay people there are, can be shown to be all over the ballpark, depending on how the question is asked and what definition is used.

And that's just the sexual arousal question.  

There is also another, equally important question, and that is "With whom do you find yourself emotionally bonding primarily, and with whom do you most often consider yourself in love;  members of the same or opposite sex?"  This article doesn't even address THAT question, which is equally important to the definition of sexual orientation, and the response to both questions aren't always coincident.  The Advocate study did address that question.

The upshot of the article about the study appearing in The Advocate was, "how do you define 'Gay'?"  There were, of course different definitions offered and different numbers associated with them.  And the study asked the question in a way that I would consider far less culturally biased: Rather than merely asking for self-identification, which is an answer that is well known to vary all over the place with social conditions and societal attitudes, it asked for the responses to specific behavioral inquiries, and then used a statistical analysis to those queries to produce numbers based on statistical prevalence of the responses.  That removed most of the personal bias of the respondents, which this one did not even attempt to do.

The definition for "gay male" that I choose to use is the post-adolescent men who report themselves as emotionally bonding primarily, though not necessarily exclusively to other men, AND who find themselves sexually attracted to other men significantly more often than to women.  That number was listed as 10.1% of U.S. males in the Advocate study, a number that varies very little crossculturally - about 1% variance.

Kinsey stands vindicated, IMO.

Thanks for posting that. It's all very confusing.

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