Only 1.5% of Britons claim to be gay or bisexual



Congalltee

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The recent Irish Times survey on Sex and Society, had 96% declare themselves hetrosexual, with the remainder divided as gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, asexual, and would not say.

So between 1.5% to 4% is the range. 1 in 25 to 1 in 66 seems very low to me, based on number of students in my classes in school and college, the number of gay co-workers and the number of "straight" who have chatted me up etc.
Poll details: the results and how the poll was compiled - The Irish Times - Wed, Sep 15, 2010
 

Interista

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Quite shocked at this survey. Of course the IT headline is lobby queries the survey not the survey itself.
Quite right too. Most studies on sexual matters are unreliable because of the sensitive nature of the subject, but this particular 'survey' was done so unscientifically as to be almost worthless - phoning strangers at home and asking them about their sexuality doesn't seem very professional to me.

That said, I've always suspected that the '1 in 10' figure bandied about is much too high. Even allowing for the fact that many gays don't go around telling people they're gay, and that our 'gaydar' often isn't as smart as we think it is, I just do not believe thaa 10% of the population is exclusively, or even partially, homosexual.
 

corelli

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Quite right too. Most studies on sexual matters are unreliable because of the sensitive nature of the subject, but this particular 'survey' was done so unscientifically as to be almost worthless - phoning strangers at home and asking them about their sexuality doesn't seem very professional to me.

That said, I've always suspected that the '1 in 10' figure bandied about is much too high. Even allowing for the fact that many gays don't go around telling people they're gay, and that our 'gaydar' often isn't as smart as we think it is, I just do not believe thaa 10% of the population is exclusively, or even partially, homosexual.
You do realise that your "intuition" as to the actual percentage is about as scientific as the survey. Just saying is all. :)
 
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Interista

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You do realise that your "intuition" as to the actual percentage is about as scientific as the survey. Just saying is all.
Of course. But where did I claim otherwise? I don't think that what you call my 'intuition' is being featured as a scientific study in national newspapers.
 

corelli

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Of course. But where did I claim otherwise? I don't think that what you call my 'intuition' is being featured as a scientific study in national newspapers.
I think that that was the point that the Irish Times were also attempting to make, no?
 

Interista

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I think that that was the point that the Irish Times were also attempting to make, no?
Not really. It seemed like a fairly balanced report to me, making references to criticisms of the study as well as the defence offered by those who commissioned it.

This bit is interesting:

Their age profile is also much younger than the rest of the population, with 66 per cent under the age of 44 and 17 per cent aged between 16 and 24
It seems unlikely that people under 44 are somehow much more likely to be gay than those over that age. What is likely, however, is that they're more likely to admit to being gay to a complete stranger. Which illustrates the shortcomings of this study - basing statistics on self-identification is very dodgy, especially when done by a stranger over the phone.
 

seabhcan

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It seems unlikely that people under 44 are somehow much more likely to be gay than those over that age. What is likely, however, is that they're more likely to admit to being gay to a complete stranger. Which illustrates the shortcomings of this study - basing statistics on self-identification is very dodgy, especially when done by a stranger over the phone.
Its still interesting that only 1.5% of people are willing to admit openly and proudly that they are gay. I was surprised that even this number was so low.

If, say, 4% of people are actually gay, it means that only 37.5% of gays are willing to admit it in public. If 10% of people are gay, as the gay lobby sometimes claims, it means only 15% of gays are willing to admit it.
 

rockofcashel

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I've always reckoned its about 3/4% myself.. based on nothing scientific.. never reckoned it was as high as 10% ... I think some surveys and studies went overboard by considering anyone who expressed any opinion on someone of the same gender was "latent" homosexual

I mean, if I expressed an opinion that a fella was good looking, does that count as latent homosexuality ?

Not in my mind.. I mean some fellas are good looking fellas, that's about it

Plus, I also think that in recent times, the figures are being skewed by "lipstick lesbianism".. I have plenty of "girl" friends who'll now admit to kissing other girls, mostly as an experimental thing, but would in no way consider themselves gay or bi sexual

Just my two cents
 

Roll_On

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An accurate survey of this type is impossible. I don't really care if there are 4% or 20%
 

corelli

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Its still interesting that only 1.5% of people are willing to admit openly and proudly that they are gay. I was surprised that even this number was so low.

If, say, 4% of people are actually gay, it means that only 37.5% of gays are willing to admit it in public. If 10% of people are gay, as the gay lobby sometimes claims, it means only 15% of gays are willing to admit it.
Your logic entirely depends on the sample and even then, given it's an unidentified phone sampling, it's of dubious value.
 

Interista

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Plus, I also think that in recent times, the figures are being skewed by "lipstick lesbianism".. I have plenty of "girl" friends who'll now admit to kissing other girls, mostly as an experimental thing, but would in no way consider themselves gay or bi sexual
It's also true that the whole notion of homosexuality as an 'identity' is relatively new. Throughout history there have always been people who had sex with people of the same gender, but until fairly recently this was not considered to be just one (usually secret) sexual preference, not an indicator of personal identity. Gay sex was what you did, not what you were.

Of course it's true that until the lifetime of a lot of people on this board, being gay was taboo and few people would openly identify themselves as gay. However, I also think that previous generations accepted that human sexuality was too nuanced and not something that could be simply categorised as 'gay' or 'straight'.
 
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What does it matter anyway. It's legal isn't it? I mean, who cares? It's private.
 

Interista

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What does it matter anyway. It's legal isn't it? I mean, who cares? It's private.
According to the article, the UK treasury office, when examining the fiscal implications of introducing gay marriage, based their studies on the premise that 7% of the population is gay. So I suppose in some respects it does matter, though I agree with the above poster that it's probably impossible to get accurate statistics on this subject.
 

USER1234

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1.5% figure is wrong, says gay dating website with 2.2 million uk members

Gay networking websites Gaydar and GaydarGirls say that estimates of 1.5 per cent of the population being gay or bisexual cannot be true as they have 2.2 million members in the UK.

Yesterday, the Office of National Statistics published a survey of 450,000 people – the second largest after the census – which suggested that only one per cent of British people are gay or lesbian and 0.5 per cent are bisexual.

However, the websites say their membership figures account for 6.7 per cent of the population – just above the government estimate of six per cent.

Yesterday's figures suggested that there are approximately 480,000 gay men and lesbians and 245,000 bisexual people in Britain – 725,000 LGB people in total.

But the websites, which offer members the chance to meet for dating and sex, say 2,185,072 British men and women have registered with them.
Full story: PinkNews.co.uk Sept 24th - 1.5% figure is wrong, says gay dating website with 2.2 million members
 

Clanrickard

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The book Freakonomics had an account of when the aids virus first erupted and the effect it had on the so-called gay population. The amount that continued to have homosexual sex fell to about 1.5% in the aftermath of aids virus identification. many people seem to be trying out sex with the same sex it seems. Doesn't bother but what does bother me is Gay being seen as an identity and being used to get on board the minorities band wagon.
 


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