Not sure about this number

However, homosexuality is still considered taboo in many sports. Tatchell drew a comparison between rugby and football. \”It is interesting that a couple of rugby and ex-rugby players have come out in recent years but still not a single professional football player,\” Tatchell said. \”However, given there are 500 professional football players, statistically about 50 of them are probably gay or bisexual yet none have felt able to be open about their sexuality.

I know that this is an oft used number, that 10% of the male population is gay, but I\’m not sure that it\’s right.

Looking at actual evidence it seems to be much lower than that.

Somewhere between 3 and 5 % who have ever had a male (ie, same sex) sexual partner. And more like 2 or 3% who have had more than two (a reasonable enough distinction to make between experimentation and \”being gay or bisexual\”).

So where does the 10% number come from? Are we to assume that one in twnty men are so repressed that they\’ve never actually had the sex they desire? Or so repressed that they don\’t know? Or is the 10% number simply an attempt to big up the numbers so as to make it less of a minority sport?

11 comments on “Not sure about this number

  1. Doesn’t it come from the now mainly discredited Kinsey Report in the 40’s-50’s

    Even then it included those men who had had ‘homosexual thoughts or feelings’ only.

    The ‘one in ten’ was seized upon by Gay advocacy groups in the 70’s to make it seem ‘they were everywhere’ and push forward thier agenda.

    Today most groups will admit that based on more recent research that the figure is between 1-2%

    Yet every now and then one of the more mililitant groups will drag out the old debunked ” 1 in to” statistic

  2. And the probability that someone is gay given that they are a male football player will not be the same as the probability that someone is gay given that they are male.

  3. “..but still not a single professional football player..”
    He misspeaks. Justin Fashanu; more that 20 years ago.

  4. Hugo is right that the percentage of gay footballers is not necessarily the same as the percentage of gay men as a whole. Much as lesbians are over represented in most sports, I suspect that even closeted gay men are under represented in the same sports.

  5. Speaking from personal experience Mr N?

    As for the number that perplexes Mr Worstall, I have no evidence as to its veracity. That said, given its provenence (a noted radical leftie speaking for a vocal minority group), my bet would be on it being an exageration or, at least, based on a very broad definition of “gay”.

    And Gareth Thomas’s gayness? I think you’ll find the overwhelming reaction is: So bloody what? It doesn’t seem to have affected his ability to play rugby . I guess the only concern for Cardiff fans might be that this announcement triggers a transfer to Stade Francais.

  6. How many Asians are there in the UK? More than the number of homosexuals? How many Asians play professional football?

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