Friday, September 24, 2010

Brody's Scribbles... My Minority Has Shrunk

By Tim Trent (Dartmouth, England) SEPT 24 | The Office for National Statistics has published the results of its UK sexual orientation study. The old Kinsey estimate of 10% of the population being homosexual is now a thing of the past. According to the ONS, 94.8% of the population is heterosexual. That means that, if we lump all the other replies together, 6.2% of the population either is not, does not know, refuses to answer, or did not make a meaningful answer.
Reading press comment in the Daily Telegraph I see the shoddy reporting I would expect, but, more telling than the reporting, I see the kind of comments I have always associated with readers of that paper. Apparently fairness and non discrimination have something to do with the size of the oppressed minority, not fairness.
Many people will comment on the survey methodology itself. So does the survey, including finding some sort of justification for it within its own figures.
The survey was conducted face to face, interviewing all available members of the same household. Any closeted homosexual will answer "Heterosexual" in this situation. The phone interviews are slightly better, except, of course, when someone listens in on the extension.
Many of us live our lives in denial. We do not wish to be homosexual, and we think it will somehow go away if we live heterosexual lives. Some of us are lucky and find real heterosexual love, others conceal themselves behind a wall of implied heterosexuality. We will not come out to a researcher if we have not come out to ourselves. I was 50 before I could do that without breaking into a sweat and getting very stressed indeed.
The survey results show far more managerial types to be self declared homosexuals than blue collar workers. It is highly improbable that managers are more fitted to being non heterosexual than assembly workers or labourers, but wholly reasonable to see how impossible it is to be the only poof on the building site.
So the Daily Telegraph readers, many of whom are managerial types, have yet another stick to beat us with. There are allegedly fewer of us. The Telegraph says of the figures:
In it's(sic) first results, published yesterday, it concluded 480,000 people in the UK are gay or lesbian and a further 245,000 are bisexual.
Odd how most of those people attended the Gay Pride rallies in London and Brighton, isn't it? That is pretty unlikely, since a large proportion of those people will not be out and proud in public.

Related: Survey on sexual life - following on from the ONS UK survey


Desmond Rutherford said...

Surveys of this type seem to be aimed at reducing the political responsibility to protect minorities, based on the principle of the smaller the minority, the less protection it needs from the majority. To put it another way, the smaller the minority the more likely the law will be used to make the smaller numbers conform to being socially acceptable, i.e. heterosexual (and most likely Christian).

As to the percentages of the occurrence of homosexuality in a culture, I believe even 10% is way to small a number. I think if you remove the social and cultural conditioning from the populace you would find that there is a transient group of around 35-75 % of the population, at any given time, which would find a homosexual interaction somewhat attractive as a kind of dalliance in expressing mutual affection, (or maybe just plain Bonobos style playfulness or lusty fun).

Unfortunately we have moral institutions that have indoctrinated people from a very early age to regard such expressions of affection as being sinful, and thus unacceptable in the minds of the majority, including it would seem (unsurprisingly), the Office for National Statistics and the management of the Daily Telegraph.

Sexual freedom really means liberating people to engage in their natural inclination to make love with each other, regardless of their basic sexuality. But I don't suppose that will sit well with merchants of sin.

Trab said...

I suspect that Des' first sentence is wholly true. The whole 'survey' seems to be much like the drug testing done by pharmaceutical companies, designed to produce a particular end, and accuracy not being that end.

Why can't a proper survey not be conducted? Full anonymity, and no leading/slanted words being used would give much more accurate results. Maybe we should be gathering money to get such a survey professionally done.