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Gallup: Americans Greatly Overestimate Percentage of Gays, Lesbians

By    |   Thursday, 21 May 2015 05:58 PM

Americans estimate that, on average, 23 percent of adults are gay or lesbian a much larger rate than is found in self-reports from daily tracking surveys this year, Gallup reports.

According to the pollster, 3.8 percent of the adult population identified themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender in Gallup Daily tracking in the first four months of the year.

"Some of the overestimation may reflect Americans' lack of knowledge about social statistics and demography, which is supported by Americans' historical tendency to overestimate the prevalence of other subgroups in the U.S. population," Gallup writes in its analysis.

"The overestimation may also reflect prominent media portrayals of gay characters on television and in movies, even as far back as 2002, and perhaps the high visibility of activists who have pushed gay causes, particularly legalizing same-sex marriage."

According to the survey, in 2011, Americans on average estimated 25 percent of adults were gay or lesbian.

That stability is in stark contrast with attitudes about the legality and morality of gay and lesbian relations, Gallup reports.

For example, the survey found:
  • 38 percent of Americans said gay and lesbian relations were morally acceptable in 2002; the number has risen to 63 percent today.
  • 35 percent of Americans favored legalized same-sex marriage in 1999, while 60 percent favor it today.
  • Republicans and conservatives are much less likely than others to consider gay and lesbian relations morally acceptable and to favor legalized same-sex marriage.
The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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Americans estimate that, on average, 23 percent of adults are gay or lesbian - a much larger rate than is found in self-reports from daily tracking surveys this year, Gallup reports.
gays, lesbians, poll, gallup, percent
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2015-58-21
Thursday, 21 May 2015 05:58 PM
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