Monday, November 22, 2010

Absence of Normal

Not this obvious, but just about right, statistically
 There was no way to get information on SAME GENDER ATTRACTION when I was growing up.  SGA didn't exist.  Gay and Homosexual weren't terms bantered about either. No "on line", no subscriptions to anything liberal enough to explain things to me other than national Geographic, no USA Today in lovely colors. In other words, and let me be clear, there was nothing.  There was nothing and nobody to tell me not to worry about not being normal or not, or that I was more normal than I thought, or even that I had an unhealthy obsession with normal.  I was gay. Apparently 10%-ish of us were. 

Since 10%ish of the population is homosexual today - one out of every ten-ish persons, why don't we recognize Same Gender Attraction as part of normal - at least on tenth a part of it at least. (Again with the normal thing. Normal should be a non-issue. I think my Garfield bobble-head on the dashboard is normal. My wife would differ).

As far as the 10% is concerned, this figure comes from an analysis of interviews conducted from 1938 to 1948 under the supervision of Alfred Kinsey where 10 percent of men interviewed claimed to be homosexual. The study considered only male behavior and thus the 10 percent figure cannot be applied to the half of the population who are women. Mr. Kinsey bases his claims on his figures from a pool of 5,300 male subjects that he represented as your average "Joe College" student. Many of the men who gave him the data, it is claimed appear to be of suspect employment and moral behavior, consisting of sex offenders, prison inmates, etc. Dr. Judith Reisman, "Kinsey and the Homosexual Revolution," The Journal of Human Sexuality (Carrollton, Tex.: Lewis and Stanley, 1996)

The Kinsey study itself stated that less than 4 percent of men are homosexual based on long term behavior vs. adolescent experimentation. Other reports are much more conservative in number (2.3% - The National Survey of Men) (Stuart H. Seidman, and Ronald O. Reider "A Review of Sexual Behavior in the United States" The American Journal of Psychiatry. Vol. 151, Number . , 1994. Page(s) 330-339)

(1.8 to 3% - Harrell, R. et al (1999) A Co-twin Control Study in Adult Men" Archives of General Psychiatry. 56, 10: 867-874 Edward O. Laumann, John H. Gagnon, Robert T. Michael and Stuart Michaels, The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994. John O. G. Billy, et al., "The Sexual Behavior of Men in the United States," Family Planning Perspectives 25 (March/April 1993): 58. J. Gordon Muir, "Homosexuals and the 10 percent Fallacy," Wall Street Journal (March 31, 1993). Milton Diamond, "Homosexuality and Bisexuality in Different Populations," Archives of Sexual Behavior 22 (1993): 300) - More current studies indicate that homosexuals comprise between 1 to 3% of the population. (J. Gordon Muir, "Homosexuals and the 10 % Fallacy," Wall Street Journal (March 31, 1993)

Hold on - we're going someplace.  The exact percentages of those SGA in the general population is, as you can imagine difficult to determine precisely because many feel reluctant or fearful to attach that label and identify themselves publicly. For decades, the percentage has been thought by many to be more than the nationally accepted number of 3%. At approximately nine to ten percent for men; Conservatives claim lower numbers, liberals claim higher. In the church the problem is magnified. No one knows with absolute certainty. I state here, for the record and with relative assuredly that I know more than twelve. ‘Most lesbian and gay people do not proclaim their sexuality – they are an invisible minority.” - U.S. Catholic: “An Interview with Sr. Jeannine Gramick, SSND,” August, 1992

Okay, so 10%-ish looks a bit over done. Honestly, does the percentage really matter? As long as there is one person dealing with SGA, we as a church and as individuals in the church will be there for them.

All this science and statistics is interesting enough. However, lets look at another figure that may hit closer to home. How many who deal with SGA are there currently in the Mormon Church?

Channel 2 News in a report done at the end of October of this year says that statistically, there are 6 to 8 members of each LDS ward who deal with SGA.

Six to eight.  In each ward.  In the entire LDS church.  Sounds normal to me.


  1. 6 to 8 in a ward? Not sure I'm buying that.

    Personally, I know of 4 (myself included) in my ward. And I am NOT out. Not even out to my wife.

    Could it be that I somehow have happened to get to know half the gay people in the ward when most of us are closeted? Seems unlikely.

    But, I really like your point that the statistics shouldn't matter. We are called to go after "the one" not the 99.

  2. Including my husband, there are 2 others that we know of in our ward. I agree, there are many out there, but as members of the church it isn't put out there. We are too prideful to admit that there is anything, "wrong" with us and that we may or may not have natural mand tendencies greater than ocassionally losing our tempers, judging on occassion and forgeting to be charitable!!
    THe only way it's going to become "normal" is if people start talking about it. . . I have more to say but will wait!

    Thanks for your words!

  3. There is nothing wrong with us. We are gay - that does not make us wrong. Stand up ad be counted as gay in the Mormon church. I am not asking for a revolution. Just stand up

  4. I have always known a half dozen in every ward we have ever been in - except at ricks and byu where there were more. I think the study and your blog info is correct. thatnks for the blog!

  5. Many more that we are willing to admit. Maybe the church should read this

  6. The guy in yellow is in my ward. And Yes, he is gay

  7. The man in yellow. Sounds like a whole new gay book that maybe Cal should write. He is in our ward, too. And He is married to a nice girl who knows of his SGAttraction and thay are working it out.