Study: Nine million Americans are gay or lesbian

April 11, 2011

A new national study indicates that 9 million Americans identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. [Los Angeles Times]

The research, released Thursday by the Williams Institute at UCLA’s School of Law, claims that 3.5 percent of the national population admit to being lesbian, gay, or bisexual. The figure is well below the 10 percent number put forth by gay rights advocates over the years. Another 0.3 percent consider themselves to be transgender.

Researchers cautioned that actual numbers are difficult to pinpoint because national surveys tend to be inconsistent and insufficient.

The UCLA study culled data and methods from nine surveys conducted over the last seven years and averaged results from five of those surveys to estimate sexual orientation and results from two surveys to estimate the transgender population.

It also found an estimated 8.2 percent of Americans reported participating in same-sex sexual activity; and an estimated 11 percent held some same-sex sexual attraction, but neither group necessarily identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.


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14 Comments

  1. Violet says:

    Note that the survey asks people what they IDENTIFY as. This means that any person who is closeted or who engages in homosexual activity but chooses not to identify as gay is not included in that number. Note the last paragraph:

    “It also found an estimated 8.2 percent of Americans reported participating in same-sex sexual activity; and an estimated 11 percent held some same-sex sexual attraction, but neither group necessarily identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.”

    Sexuality isn’t black and white, and what this survey shows isn’t that less people are gay than claimed but that less people classify themselves as gay even though about the expected amount engage in homosexual behavior or feel some level of attraction for the same sex.

    I also don’t think people understand what “protected” status means. A “protected” class only means that a person cannot be discriminated against or harassed due to their status as a person of that class. It doesn’t grant special privileges, it only prevents people from denying you something based on your race, age, religion, etc. that they would grant to someone else. It doesn’t require them to grant it to you, however, only that you must have a reason other than race, age, religion, disability etc for denying them. And that protection works in every direction–a white person is protected in terms of their race as much as a black person, if sexuality were a protected class, then a straight person would be protected equally as a gay person — no one could discriminate against you for being straight, any more than they could discriminate against a gay person. It would not grant homosexuals special privileges that straight people don’t get.

    (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
  2. willie says:

    I once read that if any group represents 5% of the state population, then special consideration can be made into law to accomodate them.

    (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  3. Crusader says:

    (9/308)(100)=2.92%

    It seems like the magical “10%” number was nothing more than a lot of bullshit…

    (5) 11 Total Votes - 8 up - 3 down
  4. easymoney says:

    Who cares?

    (7) 15 Total Votes - 11 up - 4 down
  5. SLORider says:

    Just another prod to create a “special protected class” akin to skin color. Everyone has equal rights, folks, creating protected classes is divisive, racist and bigoted.

    Gays are not special, minorities are not special, Caucasians are not special, women are not special.

    It’s about EQUALITY. Equality dictates no special protections, no special treatment, and no outcome driven discrimination (affirmative action).

    (17) 21 Total Votes - 19 up - 2 down
  6. kellygirl says:

    I find it interesting that this new research undercuts the 1 in 10 argument we always hear, “1 in 10 people are gay.” Conservatives have always maintained that the number was closer to 1 percent. Looks like they may be right. I’m certainly not anti-gay, but I wonder if the liberal media has tended to let the number inflate over the years without investigating.

    (10) 22 Total Votes - 16 up - 6 down
    • Cindy says:

      Of course they have been inflating the numbers, the more the merrier. As for the bi-sexuals, they are a joke. I can’t even imagine the nerve of someone seeking special status because they like it all. Next thing you know they will want to allow “three-some marriage”. It’s one thing to be born with an overwhelming attraction to the same sex that can’t be overcome and it’s another thing to be an outright pervert.

      (11) 23 Total Votes - 17 up - 6 down
      • mkaney says:

        Who cares if someone is a “pervert?” That sounds a bit like a judgement call to me. And so what if someone wants a three-some marriage. Marriage, as far as the state is concerned, should be a domestic contract between people. Legally, you should be able to practice bigamy, monogamny, or whatever other relationship works for you. Anything else is oppression as far as I’m concerned. You can all take your personal opinions and well, I’ll keep it clean but you know what you can do with them.

        (-3) 13 Total Votes - 5 up - 8 down
        • Cindy says:

          I wouldn’t care if they would STOP asking for protected status. This is completely off the wall.

          (6) 10 Total Votes - 8 up - 2 down
          • mkaney says:

            On that we can agree. Freedom works both ways. People should be allowed to live as they wish, and that includes if they want to exclude others from their activities. I don’t think anyone should be protected any more or less by the law because of their sexual orientation or color of their skin. I would say that currently however, monogamously married couples have somewhat of a protected status in that the state is only willing to recognize their domestic contracts… And if the state would replace its recognition of marriage with recognition of domestic contracts, and left “marriage” up to churches, then it would rectify that.

            (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
            • Cindy says:

              “And if the state would replace its recognition of marriage with recognition of domestic contracts, and left “marriage” up to churches, then it would rectify that.”
              Good point but since it is the way it is and has been for 100’s of years, why can’t the gay’s just get another name for it and lobby for the same rights afforded marriage contracts? They could get that pushed through in a heart beat but I think they just like getting in everyone’s face and want to tell our little children (who are too young to put it together) that two boy’s are no different than a mom and dad. In fact I KNOW that is what it is really about.

              (-2) 2 Total Votes - 0 up - 2 down
  7. Typoqueen says:

    So what’s the story here? Are we going to publish stories about what positions people enjoy the most? Personally I don’t care about what adults do in the privacy of their bedrooms, seems like a non story to me.

    (-6) 22 Total Votes - 8 up - 14 down
    • easymoney says:

      OK, so if there are only 9 million, then that would leave 291 million normal Americans…

      (4) 16 Total Votes - 10 up - 6 down
      • Typoqueen says:

        ” leave 291 million normal Americans…”

        Guess that leaves you out.

        (-6) 12 Total Votes - 3 up - 9 down

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