Study says incidence of same sex attraction significantly underestimated by current survey methods

Interesting survey here - (link to abstract below). Current modern estimates of the incidence of homosexuality based on studies usually converge around around 4-7% for men and bit more for women. This study below says that if you correct for potential bias in the survey methodology you get around 60-70% uptick in the rates of people who have same sex attraction.

I’m kind of onboard with this revised estimate just based on my gut sense of the spirit of the age I do have to say there seems to be more “gayness” that pervades the zeitgeist than could be accounted for by only one out of every 20 people. Interestingly it also says these revised methods reveal a lot more pervasive and intense anti-gay sentiment that most studies reveal.

The Size of the LGBT Population and the Magnitude of Anti-Gay Sentiment are Substantially Underestimated

PDF link to survey itself

I read the abstract. It seemed to be claiming, in effect, that they have developed an algorithm to read people’s minds (in the aggregate, they emphasized, not individuals). How do they verify if they are correcting for bias in society accurately or not?

From the paper -



Where does the “Hmmm” come from?

Estimates seem to vary from 03% to 30%, probably depending in both directions according to the interviewee’s bias ( some gay activists may want to downplay the number from caution, others to flaunt it as being the New Normal; conversely an anti-gay might want to pretend it’s minuscule whilst a brimstone preacher wants to proclaim the New Sodom ) — at the risk of playing it safe and splitting it down the middle, I think it safest to assume for the USA only, it is just above 15-17%.

Since nothing is the same all over the world, rates are no doubt lower elsewhere, and in a few places higher.

Ah, the renowned statistical work of Miss Chanandler Bong. I remember it well.

It’s a voiced labial consonant, powered by the vocal folds, produced by the closed lips and using the nose for a resonating chamber, preceded by an (optionally glottalized) pulmonar aspiration.

It’s claiming that by it is trying via a “veiled elicitation” methodology of how the questions are asked to reduce the pressure (in whatever form) of be socially conforming or acceptable and thereby get more honest answers. The result is you get substantially more gay inclined g results but when the social expectations leash is off you also get more anti-gay attitudes coming out .

Slate article explaining it

How Do Americans Really Feel About Gays?

So, Kurt Cobain was right. :slight_smile:

(If I’m hearing “All Apologies” correctly.)

I think you are, Brain, but how would he know what the ashes of his enemies tastes like?

“…but that’s not important right now!”

" . . . and STOP calling me Shirley!!"


The best current estimates are in the 4-6% range. If this methodology were totally accurate that would up the percentages to 6.5-10%.
However, if you read the study the sample studied was non-representative of the country in general. It was much less religious, younger, and more female than the country as a whole. So even if the methods are valid, the estimates are probably way off.

I have several studies that show the number of women who have had a single or very short lesbian sexual experience, but are not lesbian, is incredibly large - IIRC, on the order of almost 1 in 4 for those under age 30. Whereas “permanent” lesbians are still only about 1-3% of the general population of women. I confess that I experience the drunk “woo! girl” effect personally nearly every night that I go to certain bars, where some straight girl decides she wants to “give it a try.” Much, MUCH less so with straight men.

I blame the high incidence of experimentation phase among females on porn. Based upon porn, pretty much all women are bi.

The article isn’t quite as bad as I was thinking. They’re not simply saying “Only seven percent of people who were surveyed say they’re gay. We think it should be ten percent. So a bias against saying you’re gay must exist.”

Instead their inference that a bias exists has some evidence to back it up. They notice that there’s a significant difference in the responses depending on whether the survey was anonymous or not. Their suggestion is that there are people who are openly gay and people who are secretly gay. Public surveys only record the first group while anonymous surveys record both groups.

I can see their point. But I think it raises the bigger question of the definition of homosexuality (which previous threads have discussed). How do you define somebody as being gay? Is a person gay if they exclusively have sex with members of their own gender? Is a person gay is they generally have sex with members of their own gender but occasionally have sex with a member of the opposite gender? Is a person gay if they generally have sex with members of the opposite gender but occasionally have sex with a member of their own gender? Is a person gay if they’re in a monogamous relationship with a person of the opposite gender but wish they were in a relationship with a member of their own gender? Is a person gay if they’ve never had sex with another person but wish they were in a relationship with a member of their own gender? Does it matter if they’ve chosen not to have certain relationships, felt forced into not having certain relationships by social pressure, or simply never had the opportunity to have certain relationships?

To get back to the specific topic, if a person won’t admit on a survey question that they’re gay, isn’t it likely that they also won’t have a same-sex encounter? And do people who’ve chosen to never have a same-sex encounter still count as being gay just because they sometimes think about it?