Sunday, April 10, 2011

We don't care until we know how many

A new study about an estimate of the number of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders (LGBT) has been released by The Williams Institute and researcher Dr. Gary Gates. It is, of course, getting lots of notice on gay blogs. One reason for doing it is that in American political system we don't seem to care much for a minority group until we know how many there are.

So, enough of the suspense. The study came up with 9 million, or about 3.5% of the population. That's way under what the Kinsey institute estimated several decades ago (10%) and a bit under other estimates (5%). The number is probably low because many sexual minorities are not out to a person with a clipboard.

Our advocates and opponents are already spinning the numbers. However, Timothy Kincaid of Box Turtle Bulletin looked under the hood and is skeptical of the methodology.

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