Monday, December 9, 2013

Gayness in America

In the "no shit, Sherlock" department: An interesting article at the New York Times reports convincing evidence that at least 5% of American men are gay and many are still very closeted, especially in less tolerant states.

The thing I found most interesting was the methodology used for this "study". Thanks to Wicked Gay Blog and Queerty for the links.

3 comments:

Stan said...

I wouldn't rely too much on Facebook for data. I'm not on Facebook and never will be.
I think gay people tend to move to more metropolitan areas of their own State rather than leave altogether to another.
I didn't see anything about Bisexuality in the article either.

Russ Manley said...

Well it's an interesting article, but young Mr. Ph.D. is a little too slick with his assumptions for my taste.

For example, he says, in effect, "I estimate that only .01 percent of gay men leave intolerant states for more tolerant ones." That's only 1 out of every 1000 gay men make the effort to get the hell out of Coffee Pot, Mississippi. Really?

And there's the question of whether Facebook and other sites he looked at are truly representative of the entire population, across all ages, races, and economic strata. I had only a one-night stand with statistics in college, so I can't analyze his stuff, but something doesn't smell right here.

And he ends with one little anecdote of a retired, deeply closeted professor in Mississippi. There is no doubt that many such people exist - in fact, in just that last decade I have run into several guys in their 50's who were married for years before coming out, which has been enlightening to me.

But a single anecdote confirms nothing. That's the kind of methodology the infamous Regnerus study used to "prove" that gays make bad parents, isn't it?

And what exactly does "out" mean? Or "closeted"? Lots of unanswered questions spring to mind here. His final assessment of 5% may be right - but in the end, seems to me it's just one more educated guess.

Mitchell is Moving said...

I agree with your "no shit Sherlock" reaction. Found the study interesting, but also question the assumptions made.

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