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POVERTY MAKES YOU GAY?

By David Vance On October 20th, 2012

Does being poor and black make you gay?

“Poorer blacks and Asians are more likely to be gay than wealthier whites, a controversial study claimed yesterday. A Gallup survey – said to be the largest of its kind ever undertaken in America – estimated that 3.4 per cent of US adults saw themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT).

That figure consisted of 4.6 per cent of African-Americans, 4.3 per cent of Asians, 4 per cent of Hispanics – but only 3.2 per cent of whites. In contrast to earlier, smaller studies, researchers also found that Americans with the lowest levels of education were most likely to say they were gay. A similar pattern was found in wealth, with more than 5 per cent of those with annual incomes of under £15,000 identified as gay compared with 2.8 per cent earning more than £37,000 a year. And while 21 per cent of American adults earn more than £56,000 a year, only 16 per cent of gay people claimed to earn that much. The survey – based on interviews with more than 121,000 people – contradicts the perception that lesbians and gays are mostly white, urban and affluent, said lead author Gary Gates.

I can see Gay activists enraged by this since it confounds so much of their gay theology!  But what if it is true?

46 Responses to “POVERTY MAKES YOU GAY?”

  1. If it is true then the obvious answer is that gay people should be automatically given extra state benefits for life just for being gay and poorer than most other people. I’m sure you would agree David 😉

  2. Lol Colm:)I have a friend who advocates sending all kids in care to public school. A year at Eton apparently costs less than a year in care. As she says, ” if a kid is having such a shit start to life, at least lets give it a good education”.

    Maybe groups with different levels of education have different concepts of what “gay” means. I have very unwillingly succumbed to the modern misuse of the word. It is a lovely word for its old meaning. Bright colours and smiles are still the first things that come to mind when I hear the word. Just taking the word in orientation sense, some people call themselves gay even if they have significant attraction to the opposite sex. Some people don’t consider themselves even bi if they only have the occasional stirrings for their own gender.

    You also have to consider what motivations and drivers there are to stay in the closet. There could be correlations between that and earnings levels.

  3. The whole survey is just a statistical quirk. It is nonsense of course to claim that having a certain income makes you gay. I’m sure David posted this with tongue in cheek. After all if it was true that poverty made you gay then the solution to the ‘problem’ of homosexuality would be simple. Throw money at the gays and not only would you lift them from poverty but you would also make them straight ! Voila ! problem eradicated 🙂

  4. How interesting. So a grand total of “3.4 per cent of US adults saw themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT)”.

    Whatever that last one is.

    No doubt the figures would be similar here, which rather puts to bed that old “1 in 10 are gay” line, which was always obvious propaganda. Organised gays have long made a noise out of all proportion to their numbers. It shows how even miniscule numbers can shape the law and culture by targeting the media and other groups upholding the cultural hegemony.

  5. Colm

    But being gay can give your income. Isn’t that where we get our interior designers and choreographers? 😉

    (Actually to the degree that that is true is h degree that the changing use of he term”gay” is justified.

  6. Pete
    “whatever that last one is”

    That’s all about your recent comment that you were off to get pregnant, but you seem to be a lot further forward re realignment than I thought medical science had reached;)

    You and David will be really pleased to know that I recently attended a lunchtime “transgender awareness” session. You may be a bit disappointed to hear though that it wasn’t all pink and fluffy. (queueing Colm up there 😉 ) It involved legal workplace rights and a couple of legal grey areas that were still being trashed out. At one point there was a knock on the door of the room and a guy came in looking for his meeting. The speaker smiled at him and gave him the one word question, “transgender?”. He looked very confused shook his head and beat a hasty retreat! I wonder if he still wonders why she thought he might be or is he wondering how she knew! 😉

  7. Oh give it a rest Pete. Why does it bother you what percentage of people are gay ?

  8. Colm –

    Give what a rest?

    For years some have said that 10% of the population is homosexual. I don’t recall anyone telling them to give it a rest while they used that made up statistic to push for law changes and cultural outputs on the basis that such a significant number of people bat for the other side.

    We now see that an extremely small number of people are homosexual, that the 1-in-10 line overestimated the number of homosexuals by a few hundred percent.

    You might find that interesting, or not, but it’s my opinion and stop telling other people to give something a rest. Just give your own opinion.

  9. Far from the poorest being more likely to be ‘gay’, here in the UK it would seem to be excatly the opposite.

    What with all those tales of ‘life in a public school’, and what occasionally slips out in the press, (no pun intended), I would have thought that ‘our 3.4%’ would just about cover those in our government and entertainment industy.

  10. Pete

    How do you know gay people “made it up”?

    If they promoted a figure it appears to be the only figure statistics provided.

    What makes these latest stats the true ones?

  11. Pete

    You have no idea how many people are homosexual and neither do I and neither does that survey you quote. It was identifying the percentage who openly identify as gay/bisexual and in fact the survey also revealed that more than twice that number actually refused to answer or wouldn;t say. This is a personal issue on which it is virtually impossible to ascertain a full and comprehensive analysis. People do lie and evade answering such sexual questions you know.

    However, you have decided to accept this 3.4% becasue it suits your wishes. If a survey shows 10% you wouldn’t believe it. If a survey shows 0.001% you’d be happy to believe it. I don’t know why you feel better about the numbers of gay people being lower. Why should it affect or bother you ?

    I am not aware of any single gay activists or homosexual equality groups or individuals who think that unfair laws should only be changed when gays reach a certain percentage of the population or accept that if gays are only under a certain percent then they don’t deserve to be treated equally and fairly. The argument for anti-discrimination has never been based on how many gays there are. Whether homsexuals are 10%, 1% or even if there were only a handfull in the whole country the principle of how they should be treated wouldn’t alter.

  12. Aileen –

    I know the previous number was made up because it was made up. It wasn’t based on any surveys and any sentient adult would know that way fewer than 10% of the population is homosexual.

    These latest stats aren’t “true”, in the sense that we can say they’re 100% correct, but the survey sample is 121,000 which is huge. A sample size of 10,000 (which is huge by political opinion poll standards) would give a margin of error of 1%. So yes, as long as statistical and polling standards were kept to with this survey, we can be confident it is pretty accurate.

  13. Pete

    “I know the previous number was made up because it was made up”

    I know that that is not true. Something being made up is never the reason or the “because” anyone knows that it is.

    So how do know that it is?

    If more than twice the number saying wouldn’t answer it casts the figure in doubt.

  14. Pete

    I would actually agree with you that the 3.4% figure is probably more accurate than the conveniently cosy and rounded up 10% meme, but in reality gay rights campaigners have never sought changes to the law or rights based on numbers and those like yourself who oppose state sponsored anti-discrimiation statutes or same sex marraige licences aren’t going to change your mind by how many gays there are either, so why should such surveys and what they may or may not reveal matter ?

  15. Also homosexuality is not like race, it isn’t fixed, clearly obvious and immutable. The world is full of people who ‘come out’ as gay in later adult life. They don’t just suddenly become homosexual, in most cases they realised long ago that they were but wouldn’t admit it to family and friends and wouldn’t tell a survey that they were either . A white person is not going to tell or could get away with telling a survey that they are black, but a closeted gay person can and will answer that they are straight. I think surveys on sexuality are always going to a lot less reliable than surveys identifying other attributes like gender race religion and should always be taken with a big dose of salt.

  16. Given the great proportion of blacks in prison (over 50% of inmates) where homosexuality is imposed, that would probably explain the findings.

  17. Aileen –

    The origin of the 10% statistic is from a 1948 book by Alfred Kinsey called Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. Kinsey concluded from his research that “10 percent of the males are more or less exclusively homosexual for at least three years between the ages of 16 and 55.”

    But just who are “the males” in Kinsey’s research? It turns out that his sample population contained a high percentage of convicted criminals, sex offenders, and male prostitutes. To no one’s surprise, many researchers were critical of his conclusions since his test subjects didn’t represent the broader population.

    Ergo, it wasn’t research or a survey, it was a contrived, made up number.

  18. “So yes, as long as statistical and polling standards were kept to with this survey, we can be confident it is pretty accurate.”

    Not really. The survey is based on interviews and self-reporting and such studies are known to be unreliable on many topics. (For example when men and women are surveyed about numbers of sexual partners men exaggerate and women downplay the numbers.).

    In other words this is not a survey of people who are gay but rather people who are willing to admit to it in a survey.

  19. Colm –

    Of course they have. An appeal to numbers is one of he most common techniques in agitating for legal and cultural change.

    What would you say if the government barred women from voting? You’d say that 50% of adults have been disenfranchised. That’s not a principle, it’s an appeal to numbers.

  20. Frank O’Dwyer –

    “In other words this is not a survey of people who are gay but rather people who are willing to admit to it in a survey.”

    Are you suggesting that the true number, therefore, is even lower than the survey suggests?

  21. Pete

    Can you source any gay rights organisation that would accept homosexuals not deserving equal treatment if they were below a certain percentage of the population ?

  22. Pete

    How can you reach that illogical conclusion in your 2.33 ?

  23. Aileen,

    “I have very unwillingly succumbed to the modern misuse of the word [gay]. It is a lovely word for its old meaning.”

    As is “awful” and many others. Generally speaking, you’ll find that it’s the unreconstructed homophobe who’ll eschew the word “gay” and laboriously type “homosexual” at every turn.

    Those of us who are self-assured in our sexuality will choose the shorter word.

    As will the busy iPad user 🙂

  24. Colm –

    Nope. Reading Frank’s comment again I see he meant the opposite.

  25. Pete

    So it wasn’t made up. It came from, probably flawed research.

    Also gay activists used the only stats that were knocking about. Why wouldn’t they? It is an obvious question they would be asked.

    As for numbers being an arguement for accepting a subsection if the population, that is an indictment of our society.

    I think you need to revisit your response to Frank 🙂

  26. Richard

    I don’t know enough about the relative stats re word nerds and “homophobe” (another annoying use of a word that logically means something else), to pronounce on the “general” reason for enschewing. I know my tribe have to endure a lot of prejudiced presumptions.

    I think the modern use of “awful” is a pity as we have to substitute with “awe inspiring”. I have little doubt that if I had been brought up to use “awful” properly, I would have clung on to that use.

  27. Aileen,

    “another annoying use of a word that logically means something else”

    Showing our age again, are we? 😉

    But I don’t need to tell you, a sophisticated (there’s another word that’s lost its original meaning) woman, that language is not and never was logical. Hence our recent (ab)use of the word “paedophile”.

  28. Richard

    Language should be logical. It is misused by the illogical and they destroy it.

    Of all the misuse of words, the use of “peadophile” disgusts me most and I will not use it. It is not just a matter of preserving the integrity of the language. This word is the word that child abusers called themselves. It is part of their sick view that their abuse is a loving and beneficial act. Apart from that (as if that were not reason enough not to adopt the word), it draws no distinction between predisposition/interest in children as sexual objects and acting on it. I have every sympathy with anyone who just happens to have these terrible urges. They should not be vilified or put in the same category as those who act on them.

  29. I have never heard the word pedophile used in any other context. Those who act on ” those urges ” should be destroyed,

    Gay used to be a word expressing something good and universal. I am not sure what has been gained by the destruction of it.

  30. Phantom

    Many …phile words aren’t often used. The phile bit indicates love for whatever. Of course these perverts adopted it for themselves. I find it more than a bit sick that a word that means one who loves children like francophile means one who loves France/the French, is used for both one who abuses children and one who is sexually attracted to them with no distinction between them.

  31. Understood.

    I had just never that word used in any other context.

  32. Phantom,

    Interesting you should say that. Obviously different in the US….

    Anyway, the language is in constant flux. If it weren’t, we’d be doing a Joe Smith and using 17th-century English. Fie on that, say I.

    Not saying I like words changing their meanings. My particular bête noire is the use of “big” and “large” to denote “fat”.

  33. Phantom

    I am on a one woman mission. I would admit at the present time I am losing.

    As I get older I care less and less of anyone’s opinion of me, bar my own. I have a way to go though before I am likely to proclaim proudly that I am a peadophile! In the non corrupted sense of the word , most of us are.

    There was a network of child abusers and they themselves called it something like the Peadophile Index.

  34. Richard

    There is a difference between words going out of fashion and words changing their meaning. One of the problems with the latter is that more and more each word has more and more meanings, making communication more and more problematical. Taken to the extreme, every word will mean everything and thus nothing.

  35. What we speak of here is not much the natural evolution of language, but the intentional hijacking of fine words for political, tactical means, at times by the worst of the worst.

    Not OK.

  36. Phantom

    I don’t like either but yes the peadophile one is the worst. I don’t know it they thought it trough to the extent of anticipating that their use would catch on. It may just have been an important part of their self justification.

    I have to admit that I once used the term as others do without thinking. It was reading something about child molesters and those trying to flush them out, that I realised. I don’t think for a moment that if he word was in common usage with its one who loves children meaning, that it could ever have been hijacked.

  37. Very unfortunate that a “gay” thread has ended up talking about child abuse but interesting that in this case, it had nothing to do with any implication of particular correlation.

    It’s Rchard’s fault 😉

  38. A poll will probably emerge that shows 97% of the population are latent Gays waiting for the right moment to come out of the closet.
    The poll will be commissioned by IKEA as part of a marketing promo for flat-pack furniture….

  39. OOh you are awful agit8ed… but we like you !

    What a gay day !

    I’m free !

  40. Colm
    First,
    up and down the country there will be a coordinated erection of IKEA’s popular ‘Style; range of bedroom furniture.
    Then at a given signal, millions of adults dressed in gay clothing will burst forth from of the wardrobes.
    It will go down in history as
    “The day the nation came out in Style…”

  41. What would a similar survey show in the UK?
    I would say half that 3.4%.
    But strip out the highly dubious and arbitrary bisexuals & other fantasy groups, and only include gays & lesbians, and that figure would be lower still.
    Probably no more than 1%.

  42. Naw, you’d have more.

    Its been quite the trend for ages there.

    Americans only heard of the phenomenon a few years ago. We were innocent before that.

  43. Not a very convincing reply Phantom.

    Seeing that the USA has more people who claim to have been abducted by aliens (another fantasy group) than any other nation on earth, and who also think Hollywood is full of normal people…I would put your number of gays& Lesbians at roughly double ours, ie. 2%.

  44. I present in rebuttal the very British Pere and Allan and their bag of 9/11 and Fed theories. They outweigh all our country’s fruit loops combined!

    Game, set match!

  45. Ah but surely we’re all a bit queer in our own ways.

  46. Colm

    Another word that should be reclaimed for its erstwhile purpose. Although I have a sneaking regard for gays who revel in it .