Drawing on the widest survey of sexual behaviour since the Kinsey Report, David Spiegelhalter, in his book Sex By Numbers, answers key questions about our private lives. Here he reveals how Kinsey’s contested claim that 10% of us are gay is actually close to the mark.
When you wade through the explanation you end up with what we all generally knew. The 10% number is for those who have had a same sex experience, the 1-3% number is for those who are preferentially same sex over a decent period of time.
The reason we shouldn’t then say that 10% are gay is because there’s another number we need there. What percentage have had a heterosexual experience? If that’s 99% (say, just as an invention) then by our very same standard we’ve got 99% are heterosexual and 10% are homosexual. Doesn’t work, does it?
None of this has anything at all to do with rights of civil liberties of course. Consenting adults get to do what adults consent to and there’s an end to it.