LGB Population Smaller, Fitter Than Previous Reports, According to the CDC

According to the most recent findings from the CDC’s National Health Statistics Report, just over 2% of adults in the U.S. identify themselves as lesbian, gay, or bisexual.

Cdc-logoWhile that figure is somewhat lower than the results of similar surveys from other organizations like Gallup, the reported numbers change drastically as the age of the sample population is lowered. Similar CDC studies of youth in Washington, D.C. revealed 15.3% of participants identifying as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, Dr. David Mariner explained to USA Today.

Meant to shed light on the state of the LGB community’s health, the study’s findings were mixed. LGB individuals were more likely to binge drink and smoke, the latter of which has overtaken HIV as the leading health risk to the LGBT community. Conversely, LGB people were just as likely as heterosexuals to  exercise regularly, and gay men were less likely than their straight counterparts to be obese.

Read through the CDC’s National Health Statistics Report here AFTER THE JUMP

CDC National Health Statistics Reports


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  1. The keyword here being "identify." We all know good and well that the Ricks and Peteys of the world ain't identifying as "gay" on a CDC survey.

    When you account for the cowards, the numbers become closer to the 3-4% that many of us expect.

    Posted by: crispy | Jul 17, 2014 9:50:18 AM

  2. Most of the men who have homosexual experiences do not identify as gay or bisexual. They classify themselves as straight because that is what they wish to be known as.

    Therefore, I would say that the CDC survey on sexual identity is baloney. It does not accurately reflect reality. The CDC is making gay people seem insignificant with tiny percentages that don't reflect reality.

    F@ck the CDC.

    Posted by: petey | Jul 17, 2014 9:58:53 AM

  3. In my social circle comprised of mostly millenials going to college, I would say 30-40% are gay or bi. It's not a big deal anymore and all the stigma and shame about sexual orientation seems to me to be coming from older people. It's kind of annoying.

    Posted by: Michael | Jul 17, 2014 10:07:00 AM

  4. I think the key variable is age. People of a certain age will be more paranoid in disclosing to the gov't sexual preference. Also, sadly, a large part of the population of men of my generation were devastated by the aids crisis and are no longer around to be counted.

    Posted by: Turing's Ghost | Jul 17, 2014 10:07:26 AM

  5. Anyone who lives in a metropolitan area would think the percentage would be around 15% to 20%. Also the pollsters mostly contact people with landlines.

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Jul 17, 2014 10:13:20 AM

  6. Tragically, Turing's Ghost is right: a lot of people from my generation aren't here any more to be counted. You can read Randy Shiltz's excellent book The Band Played on: The People and Politics of the AIDS Epidemic to see why.

    Posted by: Kit | Jul 17, 2014 10:24:55 AM

  7. "Also the pollsters mostly contact people with landlines."

    Nope. This was in-person survey.

    Posted by: crispy | Jul 17, 2014 10:28:25 AM

  8. These studies are worthless.

    Any time any straight person parrots a single-digit percentage at me, I ask them how many queer people they know. Then they think about how large a percentage that sampling is and inevitably say, "But I thought that was only me." Then I tell them no, it's everybody.

    10% is a good guess for the number of gays alone and it is an insanely conservative and obviously way too low number for the amount of all non-heterosexual people, at least to anybody who actually lives in the real world.

    Posted by: oncemorefeeling | Jul 17, 2014 10:31:27 AM

  9. Many people will deny having affairs, too. My point is that people rarely identify with a behavior that is considered "off". Same applies to homosexuality.

    Most men would never admit to male homosexuality. It is not something to aspire to. This is why surveys on identity based on behaviors that can be hidden are so inaccurate.

    Posted by: petey | Jul 17, 2014 10:37:43 AM

  10. The 10 percent number that's frequently cited is not a "good guess." It comes from the Kinsey Reports, which were wildly inflated because participants were volunteers.

    In urban areas, yes, 10 percent seems likely or even conservative. But taking into account rural areas and virtually all of the midwest, you're crazy if you think 10 percent of the total population identifies as gay, lesbian or bisexual.

    Posted by: crispy | Jul 17, 2014 10:48:56 AM

  11. The majority of men who are attracted to men or who even have sex with men do not identify as gay. The large majority men who are attracted to women and men, identify as heterosexual, not bisexual. Gay identity is so thoroughly maligned and stigmatized that only the rare, bold person will embrace it.

    Posted by: Malcolm | Jul 17, 2014 10:49:00 AM

  12. Why are in-person surveys that act about sexuality even considered valid? That methodology is seriously flawed.

    Posted by: Malcolm | Jul 17, 2014 10:50:01 AM

  13. Well, what some of you are saying is that being a homosexual (or bisexual) man is not the same as being a self-acknowledged Gay (or Same-Gender-Loving) man. The same goes for women, I suppose.

    But Gays have always know about the Closeted and DownLow guys. You can have 'em.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jul 17, 2014 11:04:21 AM

  14. No survey required to know that the percentage of comments on this thread written by one closeted person under different names is way higher than the percentage of LGB people anywhere!

    Posted by: Ernie | Jul 17, 2014 11:08:18 AM

  15. LOL @ ERNIE'S comment. You're so right.

    Man, I don't even try to figure who he is from day to day anymore. LOL

    Oh, I know I shouldn't laugh at crazy people, but...LOL

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jul 17, 2014 11:21:31 AM

  16. Derrick & Ernie: if our resident troll can't come to his own defense (via posting under different names) who else will?

    Posted by: Tyler | Jul 17, 2014 11:28:41 AM

  17. @ Ernie. I resemble that remark!

    Posted by: Rick | Jul 17, 2014 11:41:34 AM

  18. @Ernie, Derrick, and Tyler: You guys are pitiful. Really, you are. I guess you are referring to me, but I do NOT post under any name other than Rick and never have.....I guess you are just so deeply threatened by the reality that gay people are not one gigantic monolith of PC robots that you have to invent these conspiracy theories to re-assure yourselves that they are.

    Now, with that out of the way, here is what I think regarding the survey:

    The problem with all these surveys--and with your mindsets--is that you simply don't want to acknowledge that sexuality comes in 100 shades of gray and is not black and white for most people. Because that suggests that there is a degree of choice in terms of what part of one's sexual orientation one chooses to act on....and implies that most men who are attracted to men could refrain from having sex with men simply by exercising will-power.

    Well, guess what? That whole "choice" question should not matter in a truly enlightened society, because choice is a GOOD thing, not a bad thing, and people should be free to have sex with whomever they want--including some combination of men and women--according to whatever their particular mix of predilections is.

    That men are increasingly thinking this way and behaving accordingly deeply threatens those who want "gay" to have a very specific cultural definition--one that revolves around the culture of effeminacy--and the more men that have sex with other men and the less stigma it carries, the less able the proponents of that culture of effeminacy can "control" what "gay" means.

    Which is pretty ironic, given that the original purpose of the gay movement was to eradicate homophobia and free men from the narrow confines of enforced heterosexuality, NOT to force them into boxes that consist of either "gay" or "straight" with no in-between.

    Most men who have sex with other men do not embrace "gay" culture--and that is what bothers so many of you. It is not about sex; it is about your identity.

    But you better get used to it........"Gay" as a concept is on its way to the dustbin of history....along with the culture of effeminacy that largely defined it....

    I think the 2% is about right when it comes to men who are "hardcore gay"--meaning having absolutely no attraction to women AND embracing "gay" culture......but the number of men having sex with other men is much, much higher and increasing....and that will eventually obliterate the debilitating culture that "gay" and LGBT have come--sadly--to represent.

    Posted by: Rick | Jul 17, 2014 11:42:29 AM

  19. I call BS. Of all the questions you could ask someone in a survey, especially a face to face survey, sexual orientation and desires are by far the most touchy. The vast majority will not tell the truth, IMHO. As for gay and bi men snd women, most (again,IMHO) are not what I'd call professional homosexuals (think little kiwi), they don't live it 24/7/365, and many don't particulary bond with the estsblished LGBT community. I think it's impossible to get sccurate ststistics of sexual orientation by surveys. Probably the best way would be to study ststistics regarding stuff like online porn.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jul 17, 2014 11:49:59 AM

  20. To summary Rick's tl;dr comment, he's too cowardly to answer "gay."

    Posted by: crispy | Jul 17, 2014 11:55:10 AM

  21. Rick, the troll who posts under dozens of different usernames to post homophobic, transphobic, misogynistic and racist rants with blissful anonymity is labeling those who call him out pitiful. That's really pathetic. At least OWN being a soulless troll. Don't play the victim card.

    Posted by: Tyler | Jul 17, 2014 11:56:31 AM

  22. Who said I was referring to you @Rick? (You're fitting that shoe on your own foot.) And what gives you the impression any of us feel threatened? The closeted have cause to feel threatened; openly gay people don't, not because of any gay culture/identity blah blah you're trying to put forth but because living openly and honestly makes people happier than living in secret.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jul 17, 2014 11:56:44 AM

  23. Crispy, you're not quite right here...

    The key word is "identify"....

    I would contend that the percentage is about 15 or higher in both urban AND rural areas if they simply were able to accurately gauge behavior and sexual proclivity.

    The number of married men who are on the down-low will never be known because they'll never "identify" as gay or even bi, but there's a lot more of them out there than anyone would guess. When I was single, half of the guys that responded to a personal ad I put in the paper were married or dating a woman and wanted sex on the sly. And I got about 120 responses, most from rural areas.

    Just that small sampling alone told me a lot about these polls and how inaccurate they are.

    Posted by: johnny | Jul 17, 2014 12:09:55 PM

  24. That's why I used the word "identify" in my comment. There's a huge distinction between sexual activity and identification.

    BTW, it's cute that you believe the stuff people say when answering a personal ad.

    Posted by: crispy | Jul 17, 2014 12:31:40 PM

  25. I would like to conduct my own study. I would take the junior class of a public high school in an economically stable and ethnically homogenous community in the Midwest. That way you aren't dealing with the gay drop out rate yet, and you don't have the problem of class-flight from the public to private schools.

    Then, based on interviews with the male students (females are harder to figure out) I would decide who is gay and who isn't. Self identification has always been the problem in these studies. People lie.

    Posted by: Enchantra | Jul 17, 2014 1:20:01 PM

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