How many gay people are there in the United States? – May 27, 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. adults, on average, estimate that 25% of Americans are gay or lesbian. More specifically, over half of Americans (52%) estimate that at least one in five Americans are gay or lesbian, including 35% who estimate that more than one in four are. Thirty percent put the figure at less than 15%.
What do the experts say?
When asked about GLB population statistics, Gary J. Gates, a Senior Research Fellow at The Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy, says:
“That’s the single question that I’m asked the most. The answer is unfortunately not simple. I’ll respond with a question. What do you mean when you use the word ‘gay’? If you mean people who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual in a survey, then the answer is that it’s likely not one in ten, but closer to one in twenty. A recent government survey found that 4 percent of adults aged 18-45 identified as ‘homosexual’ or ‘bisexual.’ A similar proportion of voters identify as GLB. If you define gay as having same-sex attractions or behaviors, you do get higher proportions that are a bit closer to the one in ten figure.
Lesbian And Gay Statistics
* Gibson,P (1989) “Gay Male and Lesbian Youth Suicide” In M. Feineib(Ed), *Prevention in Youth Suicide* (Report Task Force on Youth Suicide, Vol3,pp 110.44) Washington, D.C.: US Department of Health and Human Services. According to this study, gay and lesbian youth are two to three times more likely to commit suicide than other youths and 30% of all completed youth suicides are related to the issue of sexual identity.
* The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force “National Anti-Gay/Lesbian Victimization Report” concludes from its survey: 45% of gay males and 20% of lesbians surveyed reported having experienced verbal harrassment and or physical violence during high school as a result of their sexual orientation.
* In a survey of lesbians and gay men in Pennsylvania, 33% of gay men and 34% of lesbians reported suffering physical violence at the hands of a family member as a result of their sexual orientation.
* In a psychological study of 484 students at six community colleges conducted by Dr Karen Franklin, 18% of the men interviewed admitted that they had committed physical violence or threats against men and or women they perceived to be gay or lesbian.
* 28% of gay and lesbian high school students in a national study were seen to have dropped out of school because of harrassment resulting from their sexual orientation. (Remafedi. G. Pediatrics. 326-330. 1987)
* 80% of lesbians, gay and bisexual youth reported servere isolation problems. They experienced social isolation, emotional isolation and cognitive isolation. (Hetrick. E.S., Martin.A.D. Journal of Homosexuality 14 (1/2). 25-43. 1987).
* 26% of gays and lesbian youth are forced to leave home because of conflicts with their families over their sexual identities. (Remafedi. G. Pediatrics. 79, 326.30. 1987)
* Approximately 20% of all persons with AIDS are 20-29 years old: given the long latency period between infection and the onset of the disease, many were probably infected as teenagers. (Lehman. M. HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, 5 (1) 1993)
* 53% of students report hearing homophobic comments made by school staff. (Making Schools Safe for Gay and Lesbian Youth: Report of Mass. Governor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth 1993)
* In a study of depression and gay youth, researchers found depression strikes homosexual youth four to five times more severely than other non-gay peers. (Hammelman. T.L. 1990)
* “Homosexuals are probably the most frequent victims of[hate crimes]” (US Department of Justice 1987).
* In a recent Australian study of 1500 gay and lesbian adolesents, 80% had not told their parents of their same sex attraction. Gay statistic studies over the past 7 years have indicated that 25% to 40% of young lesbians and gays have attempted suicide. (“Here For Life” Youth Sexuality Project)
* On any given night there are approximately 19000 young homeless people in Australia. It is estimated that between 5000 and 6250 of these are same sex attracted. Homelessness was due to a range of factors, including family conflict over sexuality related issues. (“Writing Themselves In” Hillier et al NCHSR 1998)