Re: Homosexuality: male & female

Yousuf Khan (
Wed, 11 Sep 1996 04:39:03 GMT

On 10 Sep 1996 07:51:04 -0500, (Lars Eighner) wrote:

>In our last episode <512qo1$>,
>Broadcast on sci.anthropology
>The lovely and talented (Yousuf Khan) wrote:

Why thank you, I've never been called "lovely and talented" before, but
it's absolutely true. :-)

>>Now I don't mean this to turn into some debate about right and wrong, all
>>I'm asking for below are numbers.

Well, I guess this part of my statement won't come true. This is Usenet
after all.

>>Is it just my imagination or do male homosexuals tend to outnumber female

>Every study has found this to be the case. There are good reasons
>to suppose the studies are biased and that some cultural biases will
>prevent people from recognizing female homosexuality when they
>see it, but the disparity is so great and so uniform that it is not
>really within the realm of reason to attribute all the difference
>to the various biases.

So let me get this straight (I'm not being facetious here, I really am not
certain what you are saying here), you're saying:

(1)yes, males outnumber females because the studies say so.
(2)however, this could be because of cultural biases
(3)however, even if cultural biases are factored in nearly every society
out with nearly equal numbers, so it can't be because of cultural biases

Is that right? It's between points #2 and #3 that I got kinda lost.

>However, there really is no good reason to suppose a priori that
>male homosexuality and female homosexuality would be symmetrical
>phenomena. So far the interesting but far from conclusive attempts
>at finding a biological basis of homosexuality have almost all
>restricted themselves to male subjects or made wholly unwarrented
>assumptions about female subjects. Female homosexuality has been
>extensively under-studied and ignored.

Why should this be the case anymore? I've seen for decades now that
psychology majors are evenly male and female, so one would think that
studies should be symmetrical now too, since the studiers are now evenly
distributed too.

>>Also, what are the latest figures on the percentage of homosexuality in the
>>general population? Last I heard they were talking about 10% of the human
>>population is fully homosexual,

>There is essentially no basis for this figure, if by fully homosexual
>you mean life-long homosexuality with no opposite-sex sexual experience
>whatever. The figure for that kind of homosexuality is consistently
>in the 2-4% range every place a reasonably well designed study has
>been attempted. However, there seems to be considerable reason to
>accept Kinsey's view that sexuality should be seen as a continuous
>variable, and the 10% figure is not entirely out of the question if
>you take homosexual to mean someone who has more same-sex contacts than
>opposite-sex contacts.

Funny, I would've thought the 10% figure was right on the money. And yes,
when I say "fully homosexual", I mean no heterosexual acts whatsoever. I
was under the impression that Kinsey had said 10% _fully_ homosexual, not
just _predominantly_ homosexual. I've not been able to find the text of
Kinsey's study at my library, so I was hoping somebody could've quoted from
it, if they had a copy.

>>with 25% of the human population showing
>>some degree of homosexuality (ie. bisexuality). Now, I don't know if those
>>figures are accurate anymore or not, nor do I know if that 25% figure
>>denotes both bisexuals and homosexuals, or just bisexuals alone. Can
>>somebody fill me in on the latest survey figures?

>Essentially, for all its flaws, no work comparable to Kinsey's has been
>done. Moreover, you rather quickly run into a number of problems of
>definition. What does "some degree of homosexuality" mean? Does it
>mean actual behaviors with a partner leading to orgasm? Does it include
>fantasies? Masturbatory fantasies? There are serious epistomological
>problems in trying to quantify factors such as preference and sexual
>identity. Yet, merely counting behaviors has certain limitations too.

I'm willing to accept whatever definition the authors of the studies have
come up with. Now whether I agree with their definition is left to another
paragraph, but all I'm interested in are the numbers that these studies
came up with despite their definitions.

My opinion on what "some degree of homosexuality" is, is flexible. I've
come to the conclusion that sexual preference is a continuum, not two
extremes, and that bisexuality exists in this world much more hidden than
the studies can account for. I would personally count anybody who lusts
after the same sex, but never acts upon the lust as having homosexual
traits as well; but this is hard to quantify and measure. However, limiting
the definition to only those who have performed some sort of tangible
homosexual act as a good compromise. Tangible acts would include mutual
masturbation, oral, even non-orgasmic acts like cuddling are included.

I've become interested in this area because my best friend had stepped out
of his closet a few years back and said he was gay. Ever since then, I've
talked to him, and observed him, and I've observed similar behaviour coming
from other unrelated people. You could say that my eyes have been opened to
a previously secret, hidden world existing right below my nose. We've
exchanged enough information such that he's exploded some myths that I had
about homosexuality, and I've exploded some of his myths about

>Even if you think Kinsey's numbers are wrong or are too old to be
>of any value, it is still worth reading his book for the insight in
>to these kinds of difficulty (and also to discover what his numbers
>really were, for they are often misrepresented).

I don't think they are too old, but I'm surprised that no one has done a
followup study since then. And I don't think those numbers are wrong; I
used to think that maybe they were too high, but now I'm starting to see
the logic of his numbers.

Yousuf Khan

Yousuf J. Khan
Ottawa, Ont, Canada
Nation's capital