What Percentage of the Population is Gay?

What Percentage of the Population is Gay?
Every semester, students in my Human Sexuality course ask me what percentage of the population is gay or lesbian. Before answering this question, I usually give the class an opportunity to guess. Although this invariably leads to a wide range of responses, the most frequent number that comes up is 10%, and many students who cite this statistic are convinced that it is a fact. But are they right? Probably not. The 10% statistic comes from research conducted by Alfred Kinsey in the 1940s, in which he found that 10% of the men in his sample were gay. However, Kinsey’s participants were not representative of the overall population (for one thing, they were all White and most lived in big cities). He also oversampled from the gay community. Thus, we have to view his findings with a bit of caution. More recent research employing better sampling methods has reliably found that the number of sexual minorities in the population is a bit smaller.
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