Only 1 in 10 are gay... ??

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 21, 2011 3:59 PM GMT
    Just wondering what your thoughts are on this. If I look at the number of men on this sight that are married to woman, it makes me wonder what the ACTUAL ratio is? If men were pressurized by society and forced to live lives contrary to who they truly feel... I can't help but wonder how the numbers would change.

    I know there are many of you out there that have come across gay men 'trapped' in heterosexual married relationships...
    Then again, are they 'trapped' or perhaps they're bi-sexual?
    mmmm....
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    Mar 21, 2011 4:31 PM GMT
    I have always heard the 10% figure. It may well be a number of mathematical convenience, as I think the science is uncertain as to determining the actual percentage in the population.

    I was a student member of a college GLBT campus organization, and a faculty advisor on another campus, and both student activities were named "10% Society" based on this common belief.

    BTW, I was a man in a straight marriage. I conformed to parental expectations (after 350 years of my family in this country, I was expected to BREED for them, and continue the line -- LOL!), but also I was in very deep denial, even to myself, truly believing I was straight. I knew I had no interest in women, and told my parents that (I later learned they always knew I was gay), but they wanted those grandchildren, which I gave them in my late 30s and early 40s.

    They came from an earlier generation, born in 1911 & 1917, which makes me suspect they believed I could be "cured" by marriage. Oddly I don't hate them for that, they were the most wonderful parents, who really treated me very well (Hell, they spoiled me), and never forced the gay issue with me, so that I didn't realize it myself, perhaps part of their plan. They were very smart people, if a bit antiquated in their beliefs.

    In any case, my own sense is that 10%, or a little less, is about right.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 21, 2011 10:00 PM GMT
    Thanks for the reply.
    If I look at how many professional sports men and woman are starting to publicly acknowledge their sexual orientation, I tend to think that 10% is a bit too low.
    Heck, even our national rugby team had 4 gay men - out of 15 players, that is quite a percentage. I just wish they would all "come out" so that they can destroy those ridiculous stereotypes and wipe the smiles off all homophobic macho men in this country. :-) (and every other country).

    The same people they 'worship and adore on the sports field', are the same 'kind' of people they like to discriminate against. That would make my year.
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    Mar 21, 2011 10:10 PM GMT
    I honestly believe - if you include the closeted gays and bisexuals - it's more lke 50% or higher.
    And yes, I have numbers to back that up...been with MANY "straight" guys on the DL.
  • mizu5

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    Mar 21, 2011 11:27 PM GMT
    I ran my High Schools GSA starting in grade 10, and in grade 11 began to give talks at other High School and in Grade 12 Worked with the ONtario government and talked at universtiies and teachers colleges about being gay.

    I want to say the realistic percentage would be 20--25%.

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    Mar 21, 2011 11:38 PM GMT
    mizu5 saidI ran my High Schools GSA starting in grade 10, and in grade 11 began to give talks at other High School and in Grade 12 Worked with the ONtario government and talked at universtiies and teachers colleges about being gay.

    I want to say the realistic percentage would be 20--25%.

    Do you feel that percentage is for the "only gay" guys, or does it also include bisexuals?
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    Mar 21, 2011 11:42 PM GMT
    wannamuscle saidThanks for the reply.
    If I look at how many professional sports men and woman are starting to publicly acknowledge their sexual orientation, I tend to think that 10% is a bit too low.
    Heck, even our national rugby team had 4 gay men - out of 15 players, that is quite a percentage. I just wish they would all "come out" so that they can destroy those ridiculous stereotypes and wipe the smiles off all homophobic macho men in this country. :-) (and every other country).

    The same people they 'worship and adore on the sports field', are the same 'kind' of people they like to discriminate against. That would make my year.



    I think the reason that you see more in certain areas is due to our oppressive-reactive nature. Scientists are now believing that males are over-masculinized biologically, and that causes us to exhibit that overmasculinity somewhere. Sports, Music, Philosophy, Scientists, Singers...

    Haven't you ever noticed that some of the worlds best-of-the-best are gay or most likely?

    I think the 10% figure is correct, however, its reocrded as less yet we think we experience more than 10% because we have a bias to look for homosexuals to begin with -- because we are.
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    Mar 21, 2011 11:57 PM GMT
    The problem with sexuality is where do you draw the line and how do you distinguish between experimenting versus actual attraction. If there were 0 taboo you would probably find a very high percent would experiment. I've looked through many studies and looked at polls on the internet. We live in a heterosexist society that will likely push the percentage down and not dig any deeper. Based on all that I have read, I came up with this break down:

    1-3% of men are so effeminate it is hard for them to hide their sexuality. This is the percent you find in highly repressed society. These men come out first.

    Another 3 to 5% come out early in their adult life if living in a free non repressive society

    Another 3 to 5% come out at various points with it skewed towards middle age possibly because the kids get older.

    Another 3 to 5% may never come out or are not even sure they prefer men. These guys may have experimented and may in the future.

    The numbers vary enormously depending on opportunity. People assume that the percentage of homosexuals in higher in large metro areas because it represents a safe haven. But it also attracts plenty of single heterosexuals. I think the numbers are higher in large metro areas because there is far more opportunity to act on your desires.
  • mizu5

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    Mar 22, 2011 12:00 AM GMT
    paulflexes said
    mizu5 saidI ran my High Schools GSA starting in grade 10, and in grade 11 began to give talks at other High School and in Grade 12 Worked with the ONtario government and talked at universtiies and teachers colleges about being gay.

    I want to say the realistic percentage would be 20--25%.

    Do you feel that percentage is for the "only gay" guys, or does it also include bisexuals?
    Well, my stance on bi-sexuality aside, I say it as a statement for any male or female who likes their own gender as a preference, or clsoe to that.

    I'm not including barsexuals, the girls who makeout with girls for attention.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 22, 2011 12:20 AM GMT
    I think the problem lies in the need to categorize. I've always thought of sexuality as fluid. Say one is attracted to both men and women, at what point does the scale slide over from straight (or bi) to gay? Or the reverse? What if you're mostly attracted to one sex but finds this one person of the other sex who turns out to be the love of your life? What if when you're in your twenties you're mostly attracted to one sex but in your forties to the other? Did you all of a sudden turn straight/gay? What were you before then?

    I tend to adher to the idea that most (most, not all) people are bisexual, in the sense that they have the ability to be attracted to both genders. Society and religion then shapes the way we are prepared to acknowledge this attraction.

    If you count everyone who has ever been attracted to a person of the same sex then 1 in 10 is way low. But I wouldn't say this means that more than one in ten are homosexual, just that more than one in ten are not heterosexual.
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    Mar 22, 2011 12:05 PM GMT
    I'm sure there are many bisexuals in marriages, they may wish they where not, but the same can be said for straights guys too. I feel I pure homosexual would rather die, than be forced into such an untenable situation.

    Remember bi is not gay, and gay is not bi, we are diffrent.
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    Mar 22, 2011 12:28 PM GMT
    Lorac saidI've always thought of sexuality as fluid.

    Me, too, but the question becomes just HOW fluid? I reject the idea that a person can be absolutely straight one day, and absolutely gay the next. Despite having appeared to have done that myself, mine having been a case of mistaken self-perception & denial.

    Rather, I like the concept of a linear Kinsey scale, with pure straight at one end, pure homosexual at the other, bisexual right in the middle, and an infinite number of points between those 3 anchors along the entire scale. Except first, I don't think the extreme ends actually exist among humans (sorry Pattison).

    Second, I think there can be slight movement along the scale during our lifetimes, and even day-to-day, depending on variables like hormone levels, and the situation in which we find ourselves. But not a large or dramatic shift, and I think we each have a "home spot" that we will return to on the scale.

    Mine's around a 9, if 10 is entirely gay, and 5 is bi, as an expression of sexual interest. As for behavior, that's really a different issue, in my view, for which a separate scale might be needed, marked from masculine to feminine.
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    Mar 22, 2011 12:58 PM GMT
    I'm pretty sure that there have been national tests for this. I've seen 1-4% in documented studies, but I don't think that takes into account closeted gays and/or bisexuals. Realistically, I think the percentage is around 4-6%, but there is no way it's over 10%.
  • sea_buddy

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    Mar 22, 2011 1:08 PM GMT
    Allathlete saidI'm pretty sure that there have been national tests for this. I've seen 1-4% in documented studies, but I don't think that takes into account closeted gays and/or bisexuals. Realistically, I think the percentage is around 4-6%, but there is no way it's over 10%.


    Agree. Haha. I realize there are a LOT of closet cases, unfortunately, but that doesn't make up for the cornucopia of heterosexuals. And, really, defining it in these terms is very limiting. I'd rather see realistic statistics on how many guys have experimented with sex with a man.
  • sea_buddy

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    Mar 22, 2011 1:11 PM GMT
    Just googled it. Take these stats with a BIG grain of salt, but interesting to think about.

    http://secretguystuff.wordpress.com/2011/01/15/that-gray-zone-when-straight-guys-have-sex-with-guys/
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 22, 2011 1:35 PM GMT
    I would say between 10% and 15%
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    Mar 22, 2011 1:49 PM GMT
    Allathlete saidI'm pretty sure that there have been national tests for this. I've seen 1-4% in documented studies, but I don't think that takes into account closeted gays and/or bisexuals. Realistically, I think the percentage is around 4-6%, but there is no way it's over 10%.


    Cecil whatshisname did a round up of these. It came out to around 3-4% for most studies with one exception reporting the 10% number. I think the reason 10% keeps getting repeated is because of the "Oh wow, that many?"-effect. Also the "Yay, I'm not alone"-effect.

    But other non-scientific studies have produced the 10% number. Both a poll of students at Oxford University and members of the association of roleplaying gamers in Denmark. These aren't really representative of society as a whole though, are they?

    When I look at the people I went to school and high school with 10% is much too high a number.

    What I would like to see are more physiological differences between gay men and the general populace like clockwise or counter-clockwise hair whorl and 2D:4D. Then with the assumption that everyone who say they are gay actually are we could calculate a number that's unbiased by self-report.
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    Mar 22, 2011 2:01 PM GMT
    Athletes can't come out- they won't- not because they're ashamed- but because their popularity would plummet- they'll lose their sponsors- their big pay checks- their house in the Hamptons...

    It's the same with actors.


    I once heard it was 0.5%. icon_eek.gif
    Now that's low.
  • MSUBioNerd

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    Mar 22, 2011 3:30 PM GMT
    Honestly, I think even the 10% figure is wishful thinking . 3-5% seems much more realistic. There are a couple of major factors that inflate the numbers:

    1) The Kinsey studies. To the best of my knowledge, the 10% number first came out from the Kinsey report, which included a survey filled out by a disproportionate number of men who were incarcerated. Not surprisingly, when you take away essentially all access to women, a higher percentage of men have sex with other men than happens when women are present. Of course there are gay and bi men in prisons and boarding schools. There are also horny guys who take the any port in a storm view.

    2) Self segregation. We gay guys tend to meet and know a disproportionate number of the gay men in our area. Some of them we meet at gay venues. Some of them we meet online. Some of them are dates that didn't work out, but turn out to be interesting guys. It's easy to look at all the gay and bi guys you know, and think "Wow, they must be really common." But think for a moment how it is you met them in the first place. There are some similarities to, say, being an avid triathlete, getting to know a lot of the local triathletes through competition and training, and then thinking that triathletes must be everywhere because look how many you know. But since you don't know a random sample of people, the large number of triathletes you know isn't necessarily indicative of them being common.

    3) Persistence of labels. A large number of young people experiment with sex. Some aren't sure where they stand; some are just really horny (as is to be expected with the hormone surge of the late teens). Societally, we don't see anything particularly unusual about a 20 year old woman trying out a same sex relationship, and then figuring out that she's actually straight. We also see nothing particularly unusual with a guy having sex with a woman at some point, before accepting/realizing that he's actually gay. But, essentially, if a guy *ever* has sex with another guy, we decide that he's at least bi, and probably gay. I think this also fuels some of the reason why some young guys experiment anonymously, since if they're not going to eventually identify as gay they don't want to deal with the repercussions for the rest of their life of someone knowing that they once fooled around with a guy.

    And, of course: wishful thinking. How many of you have ever decided that some celebrity had to be gay because...he was just too hot/cute not to be? Coworker? Classmate? Bartender? When we get a crush on someone, we interpret everything they do or say in the light that maximizes the possibility that they reciprocate. But since straight people are the overwhelming majority, if you develop a crush on a guy without really knowing him that well, odds are he'll be straight. And that wishful thinking has a real chance of tripping you up.
  • Vaughn

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    Mar 22, 2011 3:39 PM GMT
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinsey_Reports
  • MSUBioNerd

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    Mar 22, 2011 3:46 PM GMT
    Hmm. I can see how one would be able to scrub the existing data set of bias in terms of excluding reports from time in prison, or as a prostitute. How would it even be theoretically possible to still use the same data set and scrub it for self selection bias? The whole point of self selection bias is that the individuals are not a randomly chosen sample from the general population, and since there is no data set from this time period that is a randomly chosen sample from the general population that doesn't rely on people be willing to talk about subjects that were generally culturally taboo, I don't see how it would even be possible to quantify the effect of self selection on this particular data set.
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    Mar 22, 2011 4:05 PM GMT
    5% I would say
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    Mar 22, 2011 4:12 PM GMT
    CNN exit polling from 2008 found 4% of people were Gay, Lesbian, or Bi. Given the fact that there are generally more gay men than lesbians that would probably put us at 5% of men self-reporting their homosexuality.
    Of course not all gay men report their homosexuality so realistically we are looking at somewhere between 5-10% but I would not say over 10.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 22, 2011 10:07 PM GMT
    Studies in some countries have estimated between 4-6% of MSM- Men who have sex with Men. This includes transgendered and naturally does not include women.

    MSM designation is not self-identified sexual identification; it is purely men who have sex with men

    It is difficult to take out selection bias like someone above mentioned. For example, this 4-6% figure would be higher or lower depending on geography and culture.
  • TheIStrat

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    Mar 23, 2011 2:38 AM GMT
    No more than 5%