By J. Gordon Muir, Wall Street Journal.
How many Americans are homosexual?
For years, conventional wisdom has said that 10% or more of the
population is gay. Derived from surveys in the 1940s by pioneer sex
researcher Alfred C. Kinsey, the one-in-10 figure is routinely cited
in academic works, sex education materials, government reports and
the media. The 10% estimate also has been used extensively by
activists lobbying for gay-affirmation programs and extensions of
family benefits to homosexual employees of major corporations, as
well as seen as evidence of gays’ voting clout.
But there long has been much evidence that the 10% estimate is
far too high. Surveys with large samples from the U. S., Canada,
Britain, France, Norway, Denmark and other nations give a picture of
homosexuality experience rates of 6% or less, with an exclusive
homosexuality prevalence of 1% or less.
The most comprehensive example is the continuing survey conducted
by the U. S. Census Bureau since 1988 for the National Center for
Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control. The survey,
which polls about 10,000 subjects quarterly on “AIDS Knowledge and
Attitudes,” asks confidentially if any of several statements is
true, including this one: “you are a man who has had sex with
another man at some time since 1977, even one time.” No more than 2%
to 3% of the more than 50,000 men surveyed have answered “yes to at
least one statement.” Since some yes answers were given to the four
other questions (blood transfusions, intravenous drug use, etc.),
the data strongly suggest that the prevalence of even incidental
homosexual behavior is less than 2% for men. Most studies report
that women have about half of the male prevalence rate, so a general
population estimate for homosexuality would fall below 1.5%. A
national poll showed that 2.4% of voters in the 1992 presidential
election described themselves as homosexual.
Numerous other surveys reveal similar percentages. Father-son
researchers Paul and Kirk Cameron have compiled a new report, “The
Prevalence of Homosexuality” (scheduled to be published in
Psychological Reports), that summarizes more than 30 surveys with
“large, plausibly unbiased samples.” Here are a few of them:
— France: A 1991-92 government survey of 20,055 adults reports
that 1.4% of men and 0.4% of women had had homosexual intercourse in
the five years preceding the survey. The exclusive lifetime
homosexual rates were 0.7% for men and 0.6% for women; lifetime
homosexuality experience was 4.1% for men and 2.6% for women.
— Britain: A 1990-91 nation-wide survey of 18,876 adults aged 16
to 59 reports that 1.4% of men had had homosexual contact in the
five years preceding the survey. Only 6.1% of men had any lifetime
— U. S.: A nation-wide 1989 household sample of 1,537 adults
conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University
of Chicago finds that of sexually active adults over 18, 1.2% of
males and 1.2% of females reported homosexual activity in the year
preceding the survey; 4.9% to 5.6% of both sexes reported since age
18 having had partners of both genders, and 0.6% to 0.7% exclusively
— U. S.: A stratified cluster sample from the Minnesota
Adolescent Health Survey (1986-87) of 36,741 public school students
in seventh through 12th grade found that 0.6% of the boys and 0.2%
of the girls identified themselves as “most or 100% homosexual”;
0.7% of the boys and 0.8% of the girls identified themselves as
“bisexual”; and 10.1% of males and 11.3% of females were “unsure.”
— Canada: A nation-wide cluster random sample of 5,514
first-year college students under age 25 finds 98% heterosexual, 1%
bisexual, 1% homosexual.
— Norway: A 1987 nation-wide random mail sample of 6,155 adults
age 18-60 finds that 0.9% of males and 0.9% of females had
homosexual experiences within three years of the survey, and 3.5% of
males and 3% of females had ever had any homosexual experience.
— Denmark: A 1989 stratified random sample of 3,178 adults age
18-59 finds homosexual intercourse reported by 2.7% of sexually
experienced males. Less than 1% of men were exclusively homosexual.
Many other studies also vary greatly from the Kinsey research, which
in retrospect has little validity. (The widely publicized new “Janus
Report” — “9% of men and 5% of women may be considered homosexuals”
— was based on a nonrandom sample, among other problems.
Methodological flaws are likely to have contributed to its
Among Kinsey’s most serious flaws:
— About 25% of Kinsey’s 5,300 male subjects were former or
present prisoners; a high percentage were sex offenders (he had the
histories of about 1,400). Many respondents were recruited from sex
lectures, where they had gone to get the answer to sex problems;
others were recruited by underworld figures and leaders of
homosexual groups. At least 200 male prostitutes were among his
interviewees, and could have amounted to as much as 4% of his
sample. Some groups were underrepresented, such as church attenders;
others were missing entirely. Kinsey represented this as a
“carefully planned population survey.” His alleged mirror of what
the nation was doing sexually kicked off the sexual revolution.
Even Kinsey never said that 10% of the population was homosexual,
only that 10% of men over age 16 are more or less exclusively
homosexual for periods of up to three years. (By defining adult as
age 16 and over, Kinsey misrepresented as adult behavior homosexual
play among heterosexual adolescents that may have occurred only
once.) For women, the figure was about half of the male prevalence.
As for lifelong, exclusive homosexuality, Kinsey placed the figure
at 4%, and as for any overt homosexual experience, 37%.
Kinsey’s failings aside, sex surveys should never be considered
as singularly definitive, because of the problem of volunteer bias;
many people don’t want to discuss their most intimate sexual natures
with a clipboard-bearing stranger or an anonymous telephone
interviewer. The refusal rate for sex surveys ranges widely, with
some reporting rejections of more than 50%. Although homosexuals
contend that social stigma prevents them from full representation in
surveys, researchers have found that the sexually unconventional are
more eager to discuss sex than people are generally.
Although Kinsey had been criticized early on by other scientists,
including psychologist Abraham Maslow (whose advice he ignored), the
10% fallacy was revealed in the mid-1980s when statisticians began
tracking AIDS cases. Adapting the 10% estimate and known rates of
infection with HIV among gay men, New York City’s department of
health grossly overestimated the size of the city’s HIV-infected gay
population as 250,000 (indirectly placing the total number of
homosexual-bisexual men at 400,000 to 500,000). In 1988, these
figures had to be revised down to 50,000 and 100,000, respectively.
The Centers for Disease Control has also stopped using the Kinsey
data for national projections.
It was no accident that the 10% figure became engraved in stone.
In their 1989 book, “After the Ball,” a blueprint for gay political
activism, Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen boast that “when straights
are asked by pollsters for a formal estimate, the figure played back
most often is the `10% gay’ statistic which our propagandists have
been drilling into their heads for years.”
Now that the mythology surrounding Kinsey’s homosexuality
statistics is being laid to rest, perhaps it’s time to examine some
other Kinsey conclusions. A good place to start would be his
findings on childhood sexuality.
Kinsey’s research contains the only body of experimental data
purporting to demonstrate that children from a very young age are
sexual and have sexual needs. This wisdom is part of the
“scientific” foundation of modern sex education, allowing Lester
Kirkendall, a sex education pioneer and Kinsey colleague, to predict
in a professional journal in 1985 that once our sense of guilt
diminishes, cross-generational (adult-child) sex and other forms of
sexual expression “will become legitimate.”
But the Kinsey “findings” are based on criminal experiments
conducted by pedophiles who sexually stimulated infants (as young as
two months) and children against their will, without parental
consent (obviously), for up to 24 hours at a time. Kinsey compiled
these data in a series of tables illustrating normal childhood
sexual response and orgasmic capacity. A Lancet reviewer has called
for an explanation from Kinsey’s surviving co-workers. (None has
been offered.) The National Institutes of Health’s fraud specialist
Walter Stewart has called for an investigation. It’s about time.
Dr. Muir, a physician and former medical researcher, is
contributing author, editor and co-publisher of “Kinsey, Sex and
Fraud” (Huntington House Publishers, 1990). Robert H. Knight of the
Family Research Council contributed to this article.
[This article is made available here by Dow Jones Co. for the
personal and non-commercial use of callers to this bbs, in the
hope that it will be of some help to those who are suffering
from the HIV/AIDS disease and others who are seeking to help them.]