dwj-digest (Diana Wynne Jones) V1 #741

Jon Noble jon_p_noble at yahoo.com
Sun Nov 9 21:50:22 EST 2003


--- Sarah <sarah-neko at dove.gen.nz> wrote:
> > There was an international survey published
> recently
> > that iirc gave a figure of 17% for Australia, I
> don't
> > think it was "gay" as sexual orientation, but
> rather
> > had had a gay sexual experience, or desire, or
> > something. I also recall being a bit dubious about
> the
> > way the data was collected. I'll see if I can look
> it
> > up. I know that Australia scored 2nd in the world
> and
> > the US was first. I have seen the 10% figure
> bandied
> > about on occasions, now I know who to blame. If I
> ever
> > need to use it I can quote a source. :)
> >
> > Jon
> 
> Well, reputable studies of sexuality going back to
> Kinsey show that few 
> people are *100%* straight or gay. It's a bit as if
> there is a sliding 
> scale with really, really straight at one end,
> really, really gay at 
> the other, and each individual's preferences and
> tendencies are a point 
> somewhere along that scale. People who identify
> themselves as bisexuals 
> are the most squarely in the middle, but even people
> who are closer to 
> one end or the other do sometimes have a
> relationship, have a fantasy 
> or feel an attraction that runs counter to their
> 'usual' orientation. 
> That's just because most of us have a little bit of
> wiggle room. This 
> means that it can be hard to get accurate statistics
> as to who is 
> straight and who gay. Do you have to count yourself
> as gay if you had 
> one partner of your own sex and every other
> relationship has been 
> heterosexual? Or are you disqualified from gayness
> if you had one 
> straight romance? (Are you a traitor?)  A lot of
> people refuse to see 
> that these relationships could be genuine (rather
> than just 'You 
> thought you had to go out with a boy/girl because
> you were pressured to 
> conform or didn't understand your own feelings yet'
> - of course that 
> does occur, but it doesn't account for every case)
> because they think 
> of sexuality as a 100%, either/or thing - and that
> includes people who 
> identify as gay as well as straight ones.
> Homosexual experimentation is particularly common
> among adolescent 
> boys, if only because it's easier to get it on with
> their friends than 
> with girls they don't know how to talk to, without
> necessarily being 
> proof of lifelong homosexuality. And so on.
> So I, too, would take those statistics with a pinch
> of salt.
> 
I've checked back and the survey was conducted on-line
by condom manufacturer Durex (so I was right to be
dubious about the accuracy of the results) It is
available from here;

http://www.durex.com/index.html


The relevent question asked if you had ever had sex
with someone of the same sex, and the figure for
Australia and the US was 17% yes, for the UK it was
13%. While dubious of the methodology I'm not suprised
by the figures.

Jon



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