% of people that are gay

Sorry if this has been answered before…
What percentage of people are gay? I’ve heard MANY conflicting reports. Some say 10%, like my friends. i really don’t believe this, but they insisted that it was true. they aren’t the only people to have told me this though. one professor of mine said the same thing. Now, i’ve also heard that this 10% figure came from a study from a prison and thus is very flawed. this also seems silly. Dan Savage, the writer of “savage love” says 3% of people are gay. His number seems reasonable not only because its lower than 10% but because he is gay…i doubt he has some anti-gay agenda. So, who has the correct stats?

According to the Gay City News, 20% of Americans

I think the problem in statistics is how you define the word “gay”. Once you have a solid definition then you can find out how many people in the population are “gay”.

Also, using a survey to answer the question is a flawed process, because some (most?) gay people would say they were straight, because they don’t want anyone to know they’re gay.

I understand these points, this is why i asked the question…what study isn’t flawed??? or, in the very least, what study is thought to be the most accurate-that is, most statisticians can agree with teh conclusions of the study

Estimates vary from 1% up. But I think the 10% is reliable, and here’s why:

The majority of anonymity-protected studies, from Kinsey on down, have hit somewhere close to that figure.

In a typical community (read, not Podunk and not Key West), about 3-5% of the population are “out” and gay.

There seems to be some evidence that “out” people are outnumbered by “closeted” people by a factor of about 2.5 to 3.

Multiply it out, and you come out close to the 10% figure.

There is no definitive expert citation in this field so you really can’t find an absolute answer. My Ph.D. work was in sexual differentiation of the brain so I have a little authority and will try to answer the best way that I can.

The best current best estimates are that 2 - 3 % of males are true homosexuals while around 1% of females are lesbians. This is a profesional opinion. Like I said, this is not just something that you can search the internet and look up. Most researchers have an agenda and are unreliable in their findings. The only thng that I have seen researchers in the field agree on is that the research methodology used by Kinsey et al was highly flawed and that an estimate that 10% of males are predominately homosexual is very high.

Over the years, the range I’ve usually heard is from 1-10%. Both extremes of that estimate, that will forever remain an estimate for reasons articulated above, are likely more agenda-driven than driven by unbiased (sigh) research. The 10% figure is the legacy of Kinsey, who, while a groundbreaker, I think occupies a position in the annals of knowledge of human sexual behavior similar to that of Freud in psychology.

Dan Savage’s “reasonable” estimate may or may not be close to the mark; he has no better way of knowing than anyone else. I’d hate to make an estimate myself, but I think there are at least two major subgroupings of people who engage in male homosexual activity. There are those men who are truly sexually attracted to men, and check out the biceps and the shoulders the same way I drink in women’s ankles and angles.

But there are others who I perceive as more omnisexual - not bisexuals, whom I’ll not address in this post - but those for whom gratification can come from intimacy of a sexual nature with largely anonymous partners of any gender;…, or, for that matter, species.

The gay population wants to make the figure as high as possible and the anti-gays want it to be as low as possible. It is a matter of trying to get or prevent influence and I personally couldn’t care less what the percentage is, was or might be.

:eek: [sup]I just pissed off both groups.[/sup]

IIRC, Kinsey also stated that human penis length averaged 7.5 inches. Generally most data from the first Kinsey Reports are considered to be extremely dubious.

Most newspaper reports I’ve seen reference figures of 1-2% of the population as identifying as either homo- or bi-sexual, but they never provide cites for such things.

Exit polls during the 2000 elections revealed that 4% of voters self-identified as gay or lesbian (http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2000/epolls/US/P000.html). I doubt this figure is inflated; if it’s innaccurate at all it’s probably low.

For our own amusement, a couple of friends and I once compiled a list of openly homosexual and bisexual students at our college. It’s a small school, and we figured that we probably knew them all. We did count as bisexual any “but only when they’re drunk/gay 'til graduation” types who openly billed themselves as straight but weren’t shy about discussing their same-sex erotic adventures. We figured this was fair because we obviously couldn’t count people who were closeted and we also weren’t counting people who set off our gaydar but hadn’t actually confirmed their sexual orientation to any of us. Our final figure? 12% homosexual or bisexual. This was a lot higher than we expected; we’d predicted maybe 5-7%.

This was, of course, about as informal as a sexual orientation study could possibly be and had nothing resembling a representative sample of the general population, but it does incline me to believe that the famous 10% figure isn’t that far off. I’m pretty sure that exclusive homosexuals make up far less than 10% of the population, but people who come in at a 3 (perfectly bisexual with equal attration to men and women) or more on the Kinsey scale may.

Sorry, I’m a little off-track but…from my own limited studies the average length of a penis is nowhere near 7.5 inches…maybe in porno films but not in real life. (Unless you use that male ruler where this much is six inches LOL)

For some reason, I think there would be more lesbians (or bisexual women) than men. Women seem to be more open to sexual experimentation than men who freak out about their sexuality.

Just an opinion.

Ah, but experimentation does not a homosexual make! In fact, if someone considers their same-sex experiences “just experimentation” then I’d say they’re certainly not homosexual, and only bisexual if the term is used broadly.

Ah, in that case, the statistic is easy as pie to find! Simply ask people what the percentage is, and since all gays want to make it high, the number that give overestimates will be gay!

I have seen statistics anywhere from 1-25% from varying sources. It really depends on where the study came from. In my own personal experience I would say that the percentage would probably be around 10% for exclusively gay to about 20% if it includes bisexuals. I have seen too many maried men out cruising bars, parks, etc to count and am pretty sure that they would never admit to being gay in any type of poll.

Here are some percentages found by different studies.
Bell/Weinberg 1970 – < 2% total M and F (ratings of siblings)

Cameron/Ross 1975-78 – 3.1% M, 3.9% F

FRI 1983 – 5.4% M, 3.6% F (4,340 respondents)

Trocki 1988-89 – 3% M, 2% F

NCHS 1988-91 – ² 3.5% M (over 50,000 respondents)

Catania/NABS 1992 – 2% M, 2% F (4% in urban areas; 10,600 respondents)

Billy/Battelle 1993 – ³ 1.1% M

Let’s just call it 100% and be done with it :wink:

When in doubt, use anecdotal evidence: I’m straight, so everyone is straight. There you have it.

If I recall correctly (and I can’t remember where, sorry), the chief problem with the Kinsey number was that they included anybody who had ever even had a gay fantasy.

Assuming that gayness is 100% biological, you’d never end up at 10%. Genetics doesn’t work in base 10.

My WAG is that Polycarp is pretty much on track here.

Kinsey has been denounced and deplored by conservatives for years. Back when Anita Bryant was campaigning against gays (she later recanted, but the media didn’t take much interest), she dismissed Kinsey’s work by saying that he had no spiritual beliefs; an odd claim to make about a Presbyterian lay minister.

I’m not entirely sure of why there has been this antagonism to Kinsey’s finidings, except that in some of the denunciations I’ve read there seems to be an implicit suggestion that discrimination against homosexuals is defensable if gays are very few in number.

About five years back tremendous attention was given, briefly, in the popular press to a study which purported to find that the percentage of people in the general population who are gay was much lower than Kinsey reported. Columnist Mona Charen, for one, raced to embrace this finding as Gospel. The only thing was, the study had used a much narrower definition of what it was to be homosexual than Kinsey had. When the data was examined with Kinsey’s definition, one came up with results nearly identical to his.

Roughly, Kinsey defined a person as homosexual if they did not desire sexual relations with the opposite sex, did desire sexual relations with members of their own sex, and had felt this way for several years. Later studies–often supported or conducted by conservative groups–have used narrower definitions which seem contrary to English as it is usually spoken. For instance, a study might exclude a person if he or she had ever felt a desire for the oposite sex, or wished that they had.