many homosexual people are there?
Americans believe that homosexual people make up about 10% of the
population. This figure is actually a "rough average"
resulting from sexologist Alfred Kinsey's work in the late 40s and
early 50s. (Kinsey's work has been critically challenged because
of methodological flaws and bias. See
http://www.drjudithreisman.org/ for more information.)
However, more recent studies in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, the
Netherlands and New Zealand suggest the number may be
substantially lower - from 1.3-2.8% of men and 0.7-1.9% of women
who identify exclusively as gay or lesbian.*
Statistics could vary
substantially depending on whether or not respondents are asked
about identity - Are you gay? - or behavior - Do you engage in
this activity? Cultural considerations can also influence
outcome, some ethnic groups not identifying as "gay" even if
engaged in homosexual activity. And bear in mind that all
such studies are based on self-report and primarily reflect the
experiences of Westerners.
One Internet blogger summarized
by saying, "That's why we see numbers all over the map.
Language, identity, culture, self-conceptualization, and simple
honesty all hinder our ability to come up with numbers that are
As with the above issues of cause
and change, discussions about numbers can be politically
motivated. And while they are of interest to social scientists
and the therapeutic community, statistics have little to no
bearing on moral considerations.
American Journal of Public Health. 2001; 91: 933-9
DJ et al. Journal of Epidemiological Community Health. 2003; 57
Canada - www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/040615/d040615b.htm
CH et al.
AIDS. 2004; 18: 1453-8
TG et al. Archives of General Psychiatry. 2001; 58 :85-91
DM et al.
Archives of General Psychiatry. 1999; 56 : 876-80