So according to the most recent Census, only 1.7% of  men age 18 to 44 identify as homosexual (“or gay,” as it states, presumably offering the more colloquial designation), contra the figure I’ve heard most of my life (s0 far) of 10%.

For women the figure is slightly less at 1.1%, though it’s offset somewhat, if you want to think of it that way, by the greater number of bisexuals at 3.5%.

Demographer Gary Gates provides a possible reason for why the idea that 1 in 10 Americans are gay has caught on here (sneak peek: Alfred Kinsey isn’t really to blame), but I’m more interested in how the alphanumerics are disseminated throughout the partisan interwebs.

I Googled “myth of 10% gay” and got a more or less equal number of sites on the rightish and leftish side of the issue, but note how the word “myth” and the number 10 were utilized. From the first page, on the Left:

10 Anti-Gay Myths Debunked | Southern Poverty Law Center

 

And on the Right:

10% of Americans are gay — urban myth explored


Only the Right actually uses the number 10 in the context of the “10%” I was looking for, and yes they’re pretty clearly conservative, with names like “Renew America” and “Orthodoxy Today.” It appears that while it’s a fact that far fewer than in 1 in 10 Americans are gay, it’s also a fact that to even broach the topic in a critical way you’re likely to be a right-winger.

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