Gay Marriage | News | The Economy

Gallup Poll Finds 3.4% Self-Identify As LGBT: POLL

GallupPoll

Over the past few months, the polling agency Gallup asked 121,290 American adults the question, "Do you, personally, identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender?"

According to their findings, 3.4% said "yes," but Gallup does admit some limitations:

Gallup chose the broad measure of personal identification as LGBT because this grouping of four statuses is commonly used in current American discourse, and as a result has important cultural and political significance. One obvious limitation of this approach is that it is not possible to separately consider differences among lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, or transgender individuals. A second limitation is that this approach measures broad self-identity, and does not measure sexual or other behavior, either past or present.

Flaws aside, the findings offer some interesting details about LGBT life in the States: for example, more non-white American identified as LGBT; LGBT women are just as likely to be raising children as their heterosexual counterparts; and most of the self-identified LGBT people make less than $60,000 annually.

I've included some shots of the Gallup findings AFTER THE JUMP, but I also encourage you to read the entire thing.

Gallup2

Gallup3

Gallup4

Feed This post's comment feed

Comments

  1. I find it interesting that the "Refuse to say" column is around 5%, which is much higher for blacks and hispanics. Two groups that have a machismo culture. This poll obviously can't take into account people like Marcus Bachmann, that are self-loathing gays that are living a "straight lifestyle".

    Posted by: David in Houston | Oct 18, 2012 9:23:31 AM


  2. I identify as a gay man, not some stupid acronym. Plus the last thing I would want is to be lumped into the same group as trannies.

    Posted by: Matt | Oct 18, 2012 9:31:55 AM


  3. This is the kind of thing that chaps my ass. BAD SCIENTIFIC METHOD. Don't ask, observe.

    I know, that's not cost effective, but hey, tagging big cats in Africa is the only way they can tell what's happening in their lives, and since the culture predominantly views sexuality as something one does where this survey presumes that LGBT is more of what one is...

    Posted by: Jerry | Oct 18, 2012 9:38:27 AM


  4. You have to add also the "refuse to say" and "I'm a man who have sex with other men but I'm not gay..."

    Posted by: lukebrux | Oct 18, 2012 9:44:17 AM


  5. Just remember: always double the number to include those who are in the closet publicly but regularly engage in same-sex activity and just don't admit it, and then again to include those who are in deep denial and won't even accept it even to themselves. Voila! 10%.

    Posted by: Dback | Oct 18, 2012 9:45:38 AM


  6. I'll never understand why people care so much about how many openly LGBT folk exist in this country. If even a few thousand people are systematically denied some civil rights due to some shared personal characteristic or choice, then it's a problem. What if the poll only had a 1% figure? What if it had a 10% figure? 20%? Would we magically reach a tipping point when it becomes suddenly wrong to treat us differently? Probably not.

    One other nitpick: Hispanic identity is distinct from race. It should ask the question for non-Hispanic and Hispanic, and then for Black, White, Asian, multi-racial, etc. The census has done that for the last couple decades, so I'm not sure why Gallup doesn't.

    Posted by: Stefan | Oct 18, 2012 10:06:15 AM


  7. Keep in mind, it's a poll by Gallup, not a new paper published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. I spent almost a decade helping scientists design medical research studies, and self-reported data like this is highly susceptible to a variety of problems. One huge factor is that even if you tell someone the results are completely anonymous they will still lie. They'll say that they vote more often than they do and that they exercise more often than they do because our society rewards those things. They'll also say that they eat fewer cookies, smoke less (or don't smoke at all), or that they are straight. Most of the time polls are designed so badly that they're worthless.

    Posted by: Mike | Oct 18, 2012 10:13:15 AM


  8. Do folks even read the report? It is very clear about limitations:

    Exactly who makes up the LGBT community and how this group should be measured is a subject of some debate. Measuring sexual orientation and gender identity can be challenging since these concepts involve complex social and cultural patterns. As a group still subject to social stigma, many of those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender may not be forthcoming about this identity when asked about it in a survey. Therefore, it's likely that some Americans in what is commonly referred to as "the closet" would not be included in the estimates derived from the Gallup interviews. Thus, the 3.4% estimate can best be represented as adult Americans who publicly identify themselves as part of the LGBT community when asked in a survey context.

    There are a number of ways to measure lesbian, gay, and bisexual orientation, and transgender status. Sexual orientation can be assessed by measuring identity as well as sexual behaviors and attractions. Transgender status can be an identity but can also include consideration of behaviors regarding gender nonconformity and an individual's internal sense of gender.

    Gallup chose the broad measure of personal identification as LGBT because this grouping of four statuses is commonly used in current American discourse, and as a result has important cultural and political significance. One obvious limitation of this approach is that it is not possible to separately consider differences among lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, or transgender individuals. A second limitation is that this approach measures broad self-identity, and does not measure sexual or other behavior, either past or present.

    Posted by: Dirk | Oct 18, 2012 10:48:51 AM


  9. Look for our enemies on the right to use this Gallup poll to support their claim that there are less than 3% of the population who are gay or lesbian.

    This recent Gallup poll cannot be taken seriously, at all. It is non-empirical and unscientific but it is fodder for religious and non-religious conservatives who have tried over the decades to refute the very scientific and empirical research done by Alfred Kinsey, which evidenced that at least 10% of U.S. male population may be exclusively homosexual.

    The Gallup poll should be scorned with as much derision as possible, considering that it should not matter one whit whether it is 1% or 10% or 30% of the population who may be gay.

    What matters is that American citizens are being deprived of full civil equality based on biased, prejudicial and primitive religious beliefs. Such discrimination based on those beliefs must be vanquished once and for all.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Oct 18, 2012 11:11:51 AM


  10. I understand the differences in people who identify by age, but do the difference by race, income, or education lend themselves to the possibility that at least some of those identifying as LGBT could see that as a life choice, rather than innate?

    It would seem to me that there would be a smaller variance if 100% of those identifying in this way saw themselves has simply having been born homosexual.

    Posted by: Paul | Oct 18, 2012 12:00:20 PM


  11. It would appear to show a disproportionate of people who identify are poor and minority.

    The figure for college grads is also interesting, being both lower than the average and more identifying as non-gay.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Oct 18, 2012 12:03:50 PM


  12. How can these figures be right? My WHOLE household is gay!

    Posted by: UFFDA | Oct 18, 2012 12:07:20 PM


  13. How can these figures be right? My WHOLE household is gay!

    Posted by: UFFDA | Oct 18, 2012 12:07:20 PM


  14. Most people who have same-sex attractions and engage in same-sex activity do not identify as Gay or Bisexual (of course not Trans), so this poll is probably accurate. A lot of openly gay live in a fantasy world that people are just gonna come out and identify as gay or bisexual, but that is not true. Most people avoid same-sex identity even when they know they are attracted to the same-sex. The word "gay" is especially scary to people, so they will avoid it at cost, even if they admit they "mess around," are "on the DL," or are just "sexual." The word "gay" has taken on so many social and cultural implications that many perceive as negative that you will never get all same-sex oriented people to identify with it. In fact, most will eschew it for themselves.

    Posted by: Javier | Oct 18, 2012 12:40:42 PM


  15. As a straight male I'm a bit shocked by the self-identified gay male - who I somewhat carefully 'assume' wishes for other gay males to not be discriminated against, disliked, hated, bullied, disparaged, etc., etc. etc., - who simultaneously states, "Plus the last thing I would want is to be lumped into the same group as trannies."

    Maybe you should give them the same kind of love and consideration and respect, etc., etc., that I somewhat 'assume' you wish you and other gay males want. Do you hate, in words that parallel your demeanor toward "trannies", 'lezzies' or 'lesboes'(sp?), or are you only a biggot with respect to "trannies"?

    Just wondering? You know, logic-wise...

    Posted by: notmatt | Oct 18, 2012 12:46:02 PM


  16. I am surprised that even 3.4% self-identified, but this is consistent with the recent UCLA study that was done with academic rigor (to your point, Dirk)...which also found that half of that 3.4% were bisexuals and most of those were women.

    For those of you claiming that 10% of the population is gay, you need a major reality check.

    Do you seriously believe that one out of every ten men you encounter every day is gay? Not only in San Francisco, but in small towns?

    Come on, get real. If that were actually the case, the produce counter at any supermarket would be a major cruising spot (as would just about any place that people congregate in any volume).

    The smaller numbers in the high-income categories also does not surprise me. Anecdotally, in all my years in the business world, I may have encountered a half-dozen men of any status (out of hundreds) that were over the age of 35 and not married (to a woman) or at least divorced.

    Our real numbers are quite small....and will remain so until men are truly sexually, emotionally, and sexually liberated from women.

    Posted by: Rick | Oct 18, 2012 1:29:31 PM


  17. NOTMATT: "As a straight male I'm a bit shocked by the self-identified gay male (...)"

    No one cares what you think about LGBT identity, LGBT opinions and LGBT debate, heterocisman. No one cares how you "think" they should act or how "mean" they are being.

    DAVID IN HOUSTON: Race =/= culture.

    Posted by: Lance | Oct 18, 2012 1:29:44 PM


  18. "It would appear to show a disproportionate of people who identify are poor and minority.

    The figure for college grads is also interesting, being both lower than the average and more identifying as non-gay"

    @RATBASTARD It's called "having nothing left to lose". The lower your status in the world, the less likely you are to care about the consequnces of being "out".

    And this is also why you will find that a very high proportion of the activists--on this site and elsewhere--who are constantly hounding high-status people to come out.....are themselves typically of very low status and tend to live outside the social mainstream.

    OR--at the other end of the spectrum--people are "out" because they are SO high-status that they are untouchable.....which is the case with celebs like Anderson Cooper or Elton John.

    The risks still outweight the benefits for most high-status people, though.


    Posted by: Rick | Oct 18, 2012 1:37:44 PM


  19. I have seen demographics that the number of Jews in this country is <3%. There *should* be a large number of Americans who support Jews, regardless of the percentage of the population. Pointing out this fact would be useful to all but the right-wing of the Religious Right - some of whom believe that while it is legal to be non-Christian, it is not moral to be one.

    If I remember correctly, the Kinsey study dealt with self-reporting of a same-sex experience at some point in the person's life.

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Oct 18, 2012 1:38:25 PM


  20. The poll didn't ask whether people identified as "LGBT". There is no such thing as LGBT.

    The poll asked whether people identified as "lesbian, gay, bisexual, OR transgender". Note the use of the word "or" prior to the word "transgender." Gallup understands that transgender is a discrete and separate group from LGBs. Frankly, the poll should have had an entirely separate question for transgenders, but the response would probably have been so tiny that it wasn't worth doing as a separate question.

    Posted by: Shania | Oct 18, 2012 1:40:01 PM


  21. Had I been asked to identify I would not have identified as gay because I don't relate to you liberal sissies with limp-wrists.

    I'd have identified as "heterosexual and masculine male with no testicles who sucks his father's penis" because that's the most accurate description of myself.

    Posted by: Rick | Oct 18, 2012 1:47:46 PM


  22. You will always find people like myself on sites like this who continue to give excuses to not come out, and it's not because we're powerful and high-ranking, but because we're still miserable that we're gay. With any luck I'll just die and finally be out of my misery.

    Posted by: Rick | Oct 18, 2012 1:51:18 PM


  23. Yeah, 97% of men are straight. Odd thing is about 97% of the men who I hook up with claim to be straight.

    Go figure.

    Sorry, but if being straight caused a man to be labeled a f@g then only 3% would admit to it.

    And for people who want to claim gays are only a small percentage are also the same guys, IMO, who have never, ever, been a man's first time.

    Posted by: Michael | Oct 18, 2012 2:21:34 PM


  24. or the fact that even in confidentiality a coward will lie.

    "i'm not gay, look! i'm lying on paper!"

    congrats.

    Out gays are the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Oct 18, 2012 2:24:10 PM


  25. @Michael

    What you have to understand is that the whole concept of "gay" or "homosexual" is an artificial cultural concept that did not even exist until the last century.

    Human sexuality comes in 1000 shades of gray and is rarely black and white. Certainly, there is SOME degree of same-sex attraction among MOST men, but whether they act on it or whether it is stronger than or equal to opposite-sex attraction depends on many, many factors, a lot of which are situational.

    That is why our goal should be to totally liberate men from their dependence on women so that they can find their true selves, whatever that is.......and one key aspect of that will be GETTING RID OF the very idea of "gay", which, as you indicated--whether you intended to or not--acts as a deterrent to men embracing their attraction to other men. Why? Because being "gay" generally equates to being effeminate and masculinely deficient and no self-respecting man wants to be associated with those characteristics.

    It is the culture of effeminacy associated with "gay" that is as responsible as any other factor for keeping men repressed and/or in denial of their attraction to other men.....and until that culture is wiped out, it will continue to hinder us.

    Posted by: Rick | Oct 18, 2012 2:34:41 PM


Post a comment







Trending


« «TheFour Knows It Takes All Types To Support Marriage Equality: VIDEO« «