Homosexuality and class

What does research reveal about any link between homosexuality (orientation or activity) and class? Are people from certain class backgrounds more likely to identify themselves as hiomosexuals? What about other empirical data: observations, for example?

Are the figures similar across the sexes?

A few off-the-cuff statistical caveats - it is very difficult to gauge the numbers of homosexuals across groups for a number of reasons. For one, it is impossible to count someone as a homosexual when they are in the closet (with themselves or with others). For two, some social and regional groups strongly restrict homosexuals from coming out. Three, it is hard to count numbers of homosexuals in general. Do you include bisexuals? That skews the numbers.

From my personal experience, there aren’t any stereotypes that hold true. People who are gay are just gay - it is just them, not their social class that decides it (though it can be their social class that restricts them from living the lifestyle they may (or may not) like to).

Any correlation you find would be like “curly hair and class”.

Point taken, but I guess social scientists some up against similar difficulties in much of their research but try to come up with some tentative results.

Have any studies been carried out in a large American city (perhaps in the flyover zone to reduce variables) of a kind that would indicate whether homosexuality (orientation and/or activity) was statistically more prevalent in certain classes?

Or would the stance of the researcher (or perhaps of the funding body) work to prevent this?

Why? Is there really anything about homosexuality, these days, which is a taboo subject for scientific study?

I have found through my personal study which consists of dating for sixteen years that gay men cut across all classes, standards of living, education, religion, and political leanings.

My sample size is generous, and the mean, median, and mode speak of construct validity, so I think that my poll is the definitive word on the subject.

Not so much taboo subjects as taboo results and conclusions.

Look, bodswood, do you have some theory in mind here? Why would one’s class background make one more or less disposed to homosexuality?

Once again, why? What kind of earth-shattering result could such a survey come up with, even if it were possible to define class and sexuality clearly and get round other major statistical problems?

Well, class background might play an important role if, as some people believe, homosexuality is not biological, or, as others, including some on this board, have argued, homosexuality is not wholly biological, i.e. other factors, such as socialisation and family upbringing, are involved.

Don’t have to assume that there’s some motive attached. Might as well just give the benefit of the doubt and assume it’s scientific curiosity.

The only thing I can contribute is more anecdotal info. Although my sample size is much smaller than Mockingbird’s (dammit). And it’s limited to openly gay men only. And I haven’t seen – and frankly, have been surprised that I haven’t seen – any correlation whatsoever between homosexuality and class, income, education, or race.

Sol, that might be more of a reflection that homosexuals gravitate to certain places rather than anything else.

Oh okay, never mind about the “just scientific curiosity” part I said just now.

Still don’t have anything to contribute; I’ll just say again that it’s going to be difficult to get satisfying data about this. Class, income, educational, and religious differences are definitely going to be big factors in a person’s decision to be openly homosexual. My gut feeling is that it has no bearing on whether a person is homosexual, but I have no data to back it up. I’m not sure how such data would be gathered, because a person has to be ready to come out of the closet before you can include him as a data point.

I’ve read about studies where they showed men heterosexual and homsexual pornography and monitored their erections to determine their orientation, rather than whether they identified themselves as gay or straight. Seems kind of intrusive and would necessarily have a small willing sample group.

Yes, bodswood, once again the entire scientific establishment is concealing the truth! Fortunately we have you and the conclusions you’ve come to through staring at your wallpaper to guide us. :rolleyes:

Heh-heh. I don’t know how they would tell using that stimuli. I mean, the guy could be getting all worked up looking at the male half of a het encounter!.

I don’t see how economic background could even be factored into it. A well-to-do man finds out his kid is gay and throws the kid out on the street (it happens all the time). Or a poor gay kid works his way up the ranks and becomes a huge success. Economics and sexuality cannot be related to each other.

Clearly, they are gravitating toward’s Mockingbird’s love nest.

The only socio-economic and educational studies done I can think of which show any difference between gays/lesbians and their straight counterparts don’t really involve background. The only difference is that your average gay man and lesbian woman are more likely to have a college degree and the explanation for that is simple: no kids to force drop out. Even if you meet someone in high school, you’re not going to accidentally start a family that will divert funds and attention from your schoolwork. Thus, you’re more likely to complete your degree.

There have been scientists that studied the background of GLB folk seeking commonalities (the Bell study, I think) and I find it hard to believe they wouldn’t have noticed such an outstanding factor. As well, I’ve also read anthology biographies of GLBT people selected for various themes (teachers, GLBT and their parents, etc.) mostly because people fascinate me, and I’ve got to reiterate that I’ve seen no one overwhelming class represented.

Nah. I redirected the flow of men to Nathan Lane and Harvey Fierstein. I need to nap, and the upkeep of the revolving door and the take a number system was gonna bankrupt me.

“Heterosexual pornography” does not have to include men; it’s just pornography involving the opposite sex of the viewer. I’m guessing they just mean “nekkid women” and “nekkid men” for “heterosexual pornography” and “homosexual pornography”, as they apply to a man.

Nah. I redirected the flow of men to Nathan Lane and Harvey Fierstein. I need to nap, and the upkeep of the revolving door and the take a number system was gonna bankrupt me.