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How Many People Are Gay in the U.S.?

Posted on Apr 8, 2011
Flickr / Ramaniac1

About 9 million Americans—roughly the population of New Jersey—identify themselves as LGBT.

Move over Kinsey. The Williams Institute, a leading research group exploring sexual orientation, has released a study estimating the size of the LGBT community in the U.S. The final count? More than 9 million adults, or 3.5 percent of the population. —JCL

PR Web:

The Williams Institute, a leading think tank dedicated to the field of sexual orientation and gender identity-related law and public policy, released new research that estimates the size of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in the United States.

Drawing on information from four recent national and two state-level population-based surveys, the analyses suggest that there are more than 8 million adults in the US who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual, comprising 3.5% of the adult population.

There are also nearly 700,000 transgender individuals in the US. In total, the study suggests that approximately 9 million Americans—roughly the population of New Jersey—identify as LGBT. The study was released coinciding with the Institute’s 10th anniversary, to be honored at UCLA Law School from April 7-9.

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By reynolds, April 11, 2011 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment

you said; “ men having no ability to pass on
their genes.” also; “I have known a significant
number who have chosen to abandon the lifestyle and
function as their “natural” (nature intended)
orientation, including marriage and kids.”
one of your “absolute” facts would seem to negate
the other.
your reference to “absolute” facts, your use of
“irregardless”, the length of your discourse on a
subject of which you are completely ignorant
(despite your access to, and understanding of all
relevant scientific data), and the density of
confused gay people in your circle of acquaintances
create doubt as to the merit of your opinion.

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By Spooky-43, April 11, 2011 at 11:52 am Link to this comment

You took my mention of God out of context.  Read it again. 

You also missed the second paragraph of my last post, otherwise you not would be attributing the theory or science which I am referring to as my own.  I don’t make up theories.

I have really said nothing new.  All of it is documented in legitimate scientific research.  The case is not conclusive.  Much theory has fallen in to disrepute.  You must do follow up, and not just read a document and assume the information is current. 

There has been little that has been studied more than the cause of homosexuality.  If it turns out that homosexuality is controlable behavior, the case for minority treatment goes down the drain.  But there has been NO conclusive evidence that it is not learned or induced behavior.  None.  And as stated, much of the research has been contrived.

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By Anarcissie, April 11, 2011 at 11:01 am Link to this comment

Spooky’s messages are one more discouraging example of the way people can form, elaborate and deliver elaborate theories which do not have a shred of material evidence to back them up.  In fact, it seems to be the predominant mental procedure.  One wonders how science ever got started, since most people are already sure they know everything worth knowing and are absolutely right all around, evidence and logic be damned.  It is a curious failing, given that human beings are supposedly capable of reason, but there it is.

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By RayLan, April 11, 2011 at 10:12 am Link to this comment

You mentioned God -
Genetic causes of homosexuality are no more relevant than genetic causes of heterosexuality. Science doesn’t bias its study by assuming that homosexuality is a pathology that has a cause - that’s your view. ‘From birth’ doesn’t just mean genetic. Sexual arousal is not a choice - that’s a fact.

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By Spooky-43, April 11, 2011 at 8:44 am Link to this comment

I never said anything about the Bible. 

In reviewing the science, there is nothing conclusive about a genetic cause for homosexuality.  For every legitimate study concluding one thing, you can find a legitimate study concluding another.  It just goes to show that science has lost a lot of its objectivity, and much research just attempts to confirm current theory. 

There is nothing conclusive about the origin of homosexuality, but there is ample evidence that homosexual orientation (behavior) can be converted to hetrosexual orientation.  And there is ample evidence that other sexual behavior can be changed if there is a desire to do so.

Those are the absolute facts, like it or not.

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By reynolds, April 10, 2011 at 10:07 pm Link to this comment

just plain spooky; not that you’ve given it much
thought, right?

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By RayLan, April 10, 2011 at 8:39 pm Link to this comment

- please show me the test data and cite the methodology - oh wait you think the Bible says so.
The concept of homosexuality or sexual orientation does not exist in the Bible. It is a nineteenth century idea.

Our understanding of sexual orientation as we know it today did not exist 50 years ago, much less in biblical times.  Only in 1973 did the American medical, psychiatric and legal professions begin to recognize that homosexuality is an orientation and not a choice, illness or crime.  See Psychiatry and Medicine . 

Sexuality is seldom discussed in the Bible.  The Bible view of the role of women as property, the absolute importance placed on having children to continue the family, the customs and demands related to marriage and inheritance and an obvious demonstration of male dominance and control can be seen vividly described in Genesis chapter 38.

In the Bible, all women were property that belonged to their father or husband.  Women were members of the covenant people of God only because of their relationship to their father, brother or husband.  Women could not carry circumcision, the “sign of the covenant,” in their bodies.  The Old Testament does not include a belief in “heaven” or a future time of reward and continued life.  The only way a man could live on after his death was through his children (“seed”).  No man was allowed to remain unmarried.  Old Testament Hebrew does not have a word for bachelor.

Marriage in the Bible was not based on romantic love but on a legal contract usually entered by parents on behalf of their children.  The average age for marriage in the time of Jesus was 14 for girls and 16 for boys.  Average life expectancy was only 25 years.  The Greek word for romantic love, EROS, is never used in the New Testament, though it was the most common word for love in the Greek speaking world.

To read bits and pieces of biblical material into present day culture is to misrepresent the Bible and to distort its message of God’s love in Christ for all people in today’s world.

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By Anarcissie, April 10, 2011 at 4:57 pm Link to this comment

That’s it, Spooky-43.  Don’t let the facts get in your way.

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By Anarcissie, April 10, 2011 at 4:57 pm Link to this comment

That’s it, Spooky-43.  Don’t let the facts get in you way.

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By Spooky-43, April 10, 2011 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment

“Sexual orientation like all other natural traits are distributed on a continuum.”
No, sexual orientation is not distributed on a continuum. 

Whether you think God created life or you think that it evolved, life exists in discrete categories.

True, there are diverse mixtures of genetic traits to the point that nothing is pure in its category, and while these traits can be said to exist on a continuum of sorts, nature expects everything to orient to its category, irregardless of where it’s traits fall on the continuum.  In other words, virtually every man can function as a man if he wants to, and nature intends him to want to. 

If a significant number of men decided to orient to the opposite sex, nature would be thrown in disarray for obvious reasons.  For this reason, regardless of nature or nurture, the overwhelming absolute majority of men orient to the man role, because it is what is expected by nature or God.  And no doubt the occasional lonely shephard boy does something he hopes no one witnesses, because horniness is not distributed along a continuum.  IT comes in absolute categories.  You are either horny or you’re not. 

Further, if gay men that do not choose to orient to the man role did so because they had overwhelmingly female traits, and felt more comfortable in the female role, in spite of what nature intends, how is it that they couple up with others with the same female traits, who are just like them.  Wouldn’t someone who had distinctly female traits be attracted to someone with male traits?  It is as though they have a double set of disorders, one being they have strong female traits, and the second being that they are “females” who don’t like males. 

Or are there two different categories of gay men, gays who orient to the female role and gays who orient to the male role.  I am asking if they reverse roles within the relationship, or does one always act as the male, in which case, he probably is not gay for the same reason that his partner is gay because he has no female traits.

Are there any gay women with male traits who do not like other women with male traits, but do like the gay male who has the female traits.  Ie:  a couple where the male role is played by the women and the female role is played by the male.  If there was an absolute continuum, this would be a legitimate subset. 

Virtually all research which has concluded that there is a natural component, (ie: genetic or other traits), to homosexuality has fallen into disrepute from what I can gather.  I believe that gays choose to be gay for psychological reasons, because I have known a significant number who have chosen to abandon the lifestyle and function as their “natural” (nature intended) orientation, including marriage and kids. 

But I know nature can create the rare “mixup”.  Obviously, if you believe in evolution you have to believe that there are rare mutations.  But nature does not plan intelligently, according to evolutionists, so there is no grand scheme for everyone to turn gay, gay men having no ability to pass on their genes. 

So what is the purpose of about 3% of the population trying to convince me that everyone is discriminating against them because of their chosen behavior?  Isn’t nature itself discriminating against them in many ways?

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By reynolds, April 10, 2011 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment

or to define convention that some might be identified
as unconventional

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By Anarcissie, April 10, 2011 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

RayLan—You’re confusing them with the facts.  While people’s desires and practices exist on a continuum, there is a tremendous urge to place people in sealed-off categories.  This procedure works no better with sexual orientation than it does with ‘race’, but desire overwhelms mere reason.  Maybe, along with ‘race’, party, religion, and nationality, it is a hunger for a now lost tribal identity—a renewed opportunity to hate and fight.

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By RayLan, April 10, 2011 at 10:37 am Link to this comment

Sexual orientation like all other natural traits are distributed on a continuum.

Evidence that male sexual orientation is a matter of degree.By Haslam, Nick
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 73(4), Oct 1997, 862-870.
Whether male sexual orientation is best represented by discrete categories or by a continuum has been the focus of much debate. These alternatives were compared in an analysis of 1,138 men’s scores on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory—2 Masculinity—Femininity Scale, an established correlate of male sexual orientation. Mixtures of 2 or 3 latent distributions did not fit the observed distribution of scores better than a single normal distribution, suggesting that the latent variable underlying male sexual orientation is not discrete. Additional taxometric analyses provided convergent support for continuity. The findings were inconsistent with accounts of male sexual orientation that invoke single preponderant causes, whether genetic or environmental, and call some forms of taxonomic theorizing about sexual orientation into question. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

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By Jim Yell, April 10, 2011 at 9:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Never have I seen such goofy comments. Well the subject was sex.

To start with even in this more accepting social climate, there are still many valid reasons for indiviuals to not admit they are homosexual, or bi-sexual. These are not wanting to have to explain yourself for employment based upon ones sexual preferences, not wanting to deal with condemnation within ones family, not wishing to discuss private matters in general and not wishing to start an argument that is as silly as religion.

As to the way nature designed us, or GOD, we may all question why if these matters were so repugnant to GOD, or contradicting to Nature did we get designed with the muscles and nerves integrated for all sorts of excretory functions? Is it any wonder that there is cross over in the function?

As to sexual identity, well that seems to be a matter of both design and nurture. Even with focused condemnation on sexual practices there are people who just can’t help themselves. For society it is best not to waste efforts in trying to justify resrictons or exuse behavior. The only part of sexual practice that is harmful to society is irresponsible reproduction which is not all that sexuality is about. Sexual behavior that doesn’t lead to pregnancy should be only the concern of those engaging in it.

There are many people who get undeserved praise for abstinance or meager sexual activity, when in fact they are only following their inclinations not to be sexual. Their motives are not either admirable or base, but caused entirely by either mental problems which block their enjoyment of the practice, or physical problems that block the enjoyment of the practice.

What history shows us that regardless of the bogus taboos created by some psycho in our past history, people will go ahead having sex and sometimes in very creative ways.

Get over it.

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By Spooky-43, April 10, 2011 at 2:22 am Link to this comment

Classifying humans based on their individual sexual activities does not seem to me like a legitimate thing to do.  There is no doubt that sexual tastes and activities are extremely diverse, but I believe this to be an individual taste or learned behavior thing, rather than a genetic thing, and I believe science still agrees with me on that. 

There are a ton of various sexual activities included in that very small 3.5% number, and many of those activities overlap with those of the “traditional” hetrosexual crowd.  Who can say why some are willing to perform some acts and some are not willing, irregardless of their overall orientation.  It is individual preference.

Nature provided a process and also provided some body parts for the purpose of procreation and added some pleasure to that process to encourage it.  Mankind, corrupting most natural things, focuses on the pleasure and devises thousands of different ways to excite their organs.

I suppose if a study was done on sexual activities between man and sheep, it would be noted that 97% of men who have sex with sheep are shephards.  Is this genetic?  I don’t think so.

Most deviant shephards wisely don’t set up political action commitees to demand equal treatment for their behavior.  It is their business and should be kept to themselves, because from a natural standpoint, it is not beneficial, but a deviancy. 

The LGBT crowd also partakes in activities and personal preferences which are not beneficial from a natural standpoint. 

I am not calling the LGBT crowd deviant, nor am I putting them in the same category as those who have sex with sheep, but I am saying that when an individual chooses to partake in activity which is only pleasurable and beneficial to them alone, or them and their partner, but is not beneficial to the process of nature and the natural world, and humanity as a whole, it is not something to be proud of or demand equal treatment for.

Call me a homophobe or a bigot or whatever, but I have no reason to fear a group which is less than 3.5% of the population and participates in self-defeating behavior, such as promoting “gay marriage” which is an obvious oxymoron to anyone with an IQ over 10. 

There is nothing progressively futuristic about the gay movement.  They may be having their fleet 15 minutes of fame or notoriety, but that is it.  After the leftist/Islamic alliance destroys Israel and Christianity, the Islamists will turn on the left and destroy them, including their gay minorities, as well, so the future of gaydom is questionable at best. 

The very word “gay” seems so outdated, so out of touch.  It was a questionable name for the movement to begin with, and it does not get better with time.  Like the orange carpets we had installed in 1972, they were fashionable for a minute, and then you just had to live with them.  The fashion of the gay movement is wearing thin.

Of course, this is all just my opinion.

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By TDoff, April 10, 2011 at 12:03 am Link to this comment

If the LGBT were to change it’s make-up and become the LGBTMOS*, it would become, by far, the majority party in the US. And what a party it would be!

*Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Masturbating Oral Sexualists

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By TDoff, April 9, 2011 at 3:53 pm Link to this comment

I wonder if the William’s survey of US gays applied an algorithm to correct for the fact that many folks these days will falsely claim to be gay, just to ‘fit in’ with our society.

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By reynolds, April 9, 2011 at 12:15 pm Link to this comment

“if y’all just be a little patient..learn how to
speak powerfully(not bang people over the head)and
not make people wrong who think differently than
powerful speaking is the key, is it?
why does one of a professed disinterest in a subject
weigh in on that subject? are all gay people
democrats? what?
i am not aware of employment, housing or health care
options being denied based on the applicant’s
preference of pizza. never have i read of people
being attacked on the street because they like to
bowl. far be it from me to spoil your convention.

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By godistwaddle, April 9, 2011 at 9:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As the anthropologists say, homosexuality is a normal
variant of human sexuality.

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By PatrickHenry, April 8, 2011 at 11:10 pm Link to this comment

Put it on the census.

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By Truly Anomalous, April 8, 2011 at 7:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well, I guess that should put the Kinsey report to rest…

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By louiss123, April 8, 2011 at 5:57 pm Link to this comment

or how about..WHO CARES?
I have found that the folks here on truthdig..seem to seek out any old politically
correct liberal victim based subject.
People are just people..we all come from the same source..and if we can GET
OUT OF OUR OWN WAY..this planet can be heaven.
For me..I look at homosexuality like I do bowling..or heavy metal music..or
pizza with pineapple on it..I am not interested. I am not hardwired to like those
things. If you want right ahead..please dont over dramatize
though..your bowling or taste in pizza.
Yes..psychology 101 might suggest that anytime an oppressed people get a bit
of acceptance and freedom to speak their mind they go overboard..and want
everyone to support them. Women, gays, race issues..if y’all just be a little
patient..learn how to speak powerfully(not bang people over the head)and not
make people wrong who think differently than you…you will get everything you
want. In fact..the ONLY thing to a person not getting what they want in
the war within themselves.
Your welcome.

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By SoTexGuy, April 8, 2011 at 4:24 pm Link to this comment

Who knows! Still.. probably not enough to keep the Democrats in control of the Senate.. Keep in mind that the Republican politicians in the closet will still vote Republican.
Democratic leadership please think about that.. And then start thinking how you can be ‘liberal’ and ‘progressive’ in ways to assure the overwhelming majority of Americans who are NOT gay.. that you are also on their side.
It’s the old game.. when times got tough for the Republicans they reached out to the religious right and their fearful base.. and it worked for them because it struck a chord with the rest of America.. an America disillusioned after two years of catastrophe under the watch of Democratic majorities in Congress and
Obama in the White house.
Are the homosexuals the fall-back group for Dems? Plus those on public assistance? I’m not starting any rant against marginal groups of Americans! .. yet it seems clear these people will not elect the next President or Congress.
The Democrats need a new strategy..

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By Joshua, April 8, 2011 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This survey only includes those who self-identify as
LGBT. Surely there’s millions more who are trapped in
the closet and won’t identify as LGBT. And human
sexuality cannot be neatly divided into well-defined
categories: the Kinsey scale, presenting a continuum of
sexuality, provides a better measure. I would suspect,
just as Dr. Kinsey did, that a very large number of the
population is, to a degree, bisexual.

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By TDoff, April 8, 2011 at 2:13 pm Link to this comment

Only 9,000,000? Doesn’t seem right. Oh, wait a minute, that number is based on state-wide surveys.
That explains it. D.C. is not a state. So GOPer politicians are not included. When they tally-in those fellas, the number is gonna go WAY up. Or would, if they can catch GOPers when they’re sober, and get them to tell the truth.
Isn’t it odd, the one quality of GOPers that indicates they’re human after all, and they’ll lie about that just as they lie about everything else.

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By Anarcissie, April 8, 2011 at 1:43 pm Link to this comment

The theory being here, apparently, that there is some kind of precise division of humans into hermetically sealed, permanent categories.  Everyone seems to like that idea, far as it may be from ‘reality’.  New races and nationalities to despise!  Far be it from me to spoil your enjoyment.

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