The demographics of sexual orientation vary significantly, and estimates for the LGBT population are subject to controversy and ensuing debates.
Obtaining precise number is difficult for a variety of reasons.
One of the major reasons for the difference in statistical findings regarding homosexuality and bisexuality has to do with the nature of the research questions. Major research studies on sexual orientation are discussed. Most of the studies listed below rely on self-report data, which poses challenges to researchers inquiring into sensitive subject matter.
More importantly, the studies tend to pose two sets of questions. One set examines self-report data of same-sex sexual experiences and attractions while the other set examines self-report data of personal identification as homosexual or bisexual. Fewer research subjects identify as homosexual or bisexual than report having had sexual experiences or attraction to a person of the same sex.
Several studies of sexual orientation in countries provide comparative perspectives. Tables comparing several U. However, since many individuals may fail to report outside the heterosexual norm or define their sexuality in their own unique terms, it is difficult fully grasp the size of the LGBT populuation.
The type of survey being used and the type of setting a subject is in while being surveyed may also affect the answer that the subject gives.
Another significant distinction can be made between what medical statisticians call incidence and prevalence. The population that has come to be referred to as "gay" in the West is not a descriptive term that would be recognized by all men who have sex with men MSM as known in the rest of the world. While gay culture is increasingly open and discussed, the world of MSM consists of a diverse population that often may respond differently depending on how communications in clinical settings are
Difference between mean and average statistics of homosexuals. Some men who have sex with other men will not relate to the term "gay" or homosexual, and do not regard sex with other men as sexual activity, a term they reserve for sexual relations with women.
This is particularly true among individuals from non-Western cultures. Nevertheless, it is common in the US. Terms such as MSM or "same gender loving" are often used in place of the word gay. Men in Africa and Latin America engage in sexual relationships with other men while still referring to themselves as "heterosexual", which is known as being on the " down-low ".
There is a lack of information on sexual behaviour in most developing countries. The limited sources that are available indicate that although homosexual self-identification might occur relatively infrequently, the prevalence of homosexual behaviour is higher.
These men are not taken into consideration in some sexual identity surveys which may lead to under-reporting and inaccuracies. Reliable data on the size of the gay and lesbian population would be valuable for informing public policy.
Two of the most famous studies of the demographics of human sexual orientation were Dr. These studies used a seven-point spectrum to define sexual behavior, from 0 for completely heterosexual to 6 for completely homosexual. Kinsey concluded that a small percentage of the population were to one degree or another bisexual falling on the scale from 1 to 5.
His results, however, have been disputed, especially in by a team consisting of John TukeyFrederick Mosteller and William G. Cochranwho stated much of Kinsey's work was based on convenience samples rather than random samplesand thus would have been vulnerable to bias. Paul GebhardKinsey's former colleague and successor as director of the Kinsey Institute for Sex Research dedicated years to reviewing the Kinsey data and culling what he claimed were its purported contaminants.
In "Difference between mean and average statistics of homosexuals," Gebhard with Alan B. Johnson concluded that none of Kinsey's original estimates were significantly affected by the perceived bias, finding that Recent critiques of these studies have suggested that, because of their dependence on self-identification, they may have undercounted the true prevalence of people with a history of same-sex behavior or desire.
The study found that An update on the above study; it employs the same methodology, has a larger sample 20, respondents and a broader respondent age range 16— Bisexuals accounted for 1.
Women were significantly more likely than men to identify as bisexual, and less likely to report exclusively other-sex or same-sex attraction and experience.
Similarly, more women reported same-sex experience and same-sex attraction. More women identified as lesbian or bisexual than in — Both male and female bisexuality were more common among respondents under the age of Male bisexuality was also overrepresented among men in their sixties.
Results are presented below by age and wave; total results per wave are displayed in the last column. In the last wave, 4. Men outnumbered women among homosexuals in all age groups. For both sexes, the share identifying as homosexual in the last wave was highest in the 20—29 age group men: In an interactive voice response telephone survey of around 2, Canadians, 5.
Canadians aged 18—34 were much more likely to identify as LGBT A random survey found that 2.
A study of 20, people found that 4. In a nationally representative online survey of 7, French adults carried out by IFOP in early6. Compared to the heterosexual population, the homosexual population was much more likely to be male, single, and younger than 65, as well as to be living alone. Homosexuals were more likely to be economically active and work in "superior intellectual professions" but on average had a smaller household income.
They were also more likely to be residing in big cities, especially in the region of Paris. The bisexual population had fewer statistically significant deviations from the heterosexual population, resembling the heterosexuals on some measures, homosexuals on others, or being at a midpoint "Difference between mean and average statistics of homosexuals" still some others.
However, they were more likely to be aged 18—24 than the other two groups. Like homosexuals, they were also more likely to be single. Among LGBs, men outnumbered women by more than 2 to 1.