The Unbearable Straightness of Being
Mark Steyn is Mean again, over at NRO:
The Atlantic’s Garance Franke-Ruta observes that “Americans have no idea how few gay people there are“:
In 2002, a quarter of those surveyed guessed upwards of a quarter of Americans were gay or lesbian (or “homosexual,” the third option given). By 2011, that misperception had only grown, with more than a third of those surveyed now guessing that more than 25 percent of Americans are gay or lesbian. Women and young adults were most likely to provide high estimates, approximating that 30 percent of the population is gay. Overall, “U.S. adults, on average, estimate that 25 percent of Americans are gay or lesbian,” Gallup found. Only 4 percent of all those surveyed in 2011 and about 8 percent of those surveyed in 2002 correctly guessed that fewer than 5 percent of Americans identify as gay or lesbian.
Over at Powerline, John Hinderaker comments:
How on Earth can the average American believe that one-quarter of the men and women he sees every day are gay? Does that make any possible sense? Are one-quarter of your relatives gay, or your co-workers or neighbors? Of course not (unless you live in certain precincts of San Francisco). Glenn Reynolds’s explanation, perhaps tongue in cheek, was that there are so many gays on television, and I think that must be at least part of the answer. A vastly disproportionate number of characters in TV sitcoms and dramas are homosexual. A second and closely related factor is that homosexuality features disproportionately as a theme in movies, books and so on. It is an extraordinary instance of culture eclipsing reality.
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