The bogus 10% claim has been a centerpiece of sexual misinformation ever since the famous Kinsey report on sexuality shook up the nation in 1948 (Alfred C. Kinsey, W.B. Pomeroy, and C.E. Martin, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia, 1948). In its wake, sexual acts that were once widely considered to be perverted and unhealthy have been gradually reclassified as normal and acceptable in response to political pressures. The Kinsey report fueled the Sexual Revolution of the 60s and Kinsey's conclusions and data continue to power efforts to make homosexuality acceptable and even a favored minority, rewarded with special benefits. But the 10% figure is simply propaganda. Gay activists and their advocates claim it is derived from the "scientific" work of Kinsey, but not even the grossly fraudulent Kinsey report supports the 10% number for the general population. Kinsey's famous but fraudulent work would suggests that 10% of males are homosexual. He concluded that about 6% or less of women are lesbians, making "the general population" no more than 8% homosexual. But these conclusions are based on a terrible and even criminal fraud. Kinsey had an agenda - a very selfish agenda - and was not a dispassionate scientist in search of truth.
Kinsey's errors, fraud, and even felony crimes associated with his world-famous study have been most fully exposed in the recent work of Dr. Judith Reisman, president of the Institute for Media Education, a nonprofit technical education and research agency. She is the author, with Edward W. Eichel, of Kinsey, Sex and Fraud: The Indoctrination of a People (Lochinvar-Huntington House, Lafayette, Louisiana, 1990), and, more recently, she authored Kinsey: Crimes and Consequences (The Institute for Media Education, Arlington, VA, 1998). A related Web resource is Dr. Reisman's article, "Kinsey and the Homosexual Revolution."
Kinsey claimed he was trying to understand the sexual behavior of the average American male. However, there is no hiding the fact that Kinsey used a grossly disproportionate number of prison inmates and sex offenders in his study. Kinsey reports data for over 1,200 convicted sex offenders, and it turns out that most of these were included in the sample of 5,300 volunteers from which Kinsey's most famous conclusions were drawn. One of Kinsey's co-authors, Pomeroy, wrote a book in 1972, Dr. Kinsey and the Institute for Sex Research (Harper and Row), describing the work with inmates:
We went to the [prison] records and got lists of the inmates who were in for various kinds if sex offenses. If the list was short for some offenses - incest, for example - we took the history of everybody on it. If it was a long list, as for statutory rape, we might take the history of every fifth or tenth man. Then we cut the pie another way. We could go to a particular prison workshop and get the history of every man in the group, whether he was a sex offender or not [pp. 202, 203, as cited by Reisman and Eichel, p. 22].
By 1946, [we] had interviewed about 1,400 convicted sex offenders in penal institutions scattered over a dozen states [p. 208, as cited by Reisman and Eichel, p. 22].
Kinsey also sought out volunteers from various groups he contacted, including prison inmate leaders and leaders of homosexual groups. Among 32 groups of "contact" persons who helped obtain volunteers were male prostitutes, female prostitutes, pimps, prison inmates, and several other classes of criminals.
While Kinsey was not open about how many inmates and criminals were included in his sample of 5,300 men, a variety of indications discussed by Reisman and Eichel in Kinsey, Sex and Fraud confirm that roughly 25% of his total sample were prisoners. Further, members of the Kinsey team have noted that prison inmates have a much higher rate of homosexuality than those without prison experience.
Reisman and Eichel also point out the sampling problems that have long been known to make Kinsey's numbers highly suspect (pp. 20-21). In his study of adult males, Kinsey relied on volunteers who were willing to talk about intimate details of their "sexual history" and sexual practices. In using volunteers rather than a set of people randomly selected from the general population, it becomes highly likely that bias is introduced. Those willing to volunteer don't necessarily reflect the general population.
The issue of volunteer error in the Kinsey study is one of the most extreme and least publicized examples of dishonesty in an allegedly scientific study. At the beginning of Kinsey's study, the famous psychologist, Abraham Maslow, warned Kinsey about the potential for error in using volunteers, for it would result in a sample having personality types unrepresentative of the population supposedly being sampled. In a 1942 paper on female sexuality, Maslow concluded that "any study in which data are obtained from volunteers will always have a preponderance of [aggressive] high dominance people and therefore will show a falsely high percentage of non-virginity, masturbation, promiscuity, homosexuality, etc., in the population (Journal of Social Psychology, Vol. 16, pp. 259-294, 1942, as cited by Reisman and Eichel, p. 182).
At first, Kinsey agreed to work with Maslow to examine the possibility of error in his use of volunteers. Maslow already had psychological assessments of many of his students at Brooklyn College. By comparing the psychological data for students which volunteered for Kinsey's study, Maslow was able to confirm that the volunteer bias would strongly affect Kinsey's work. Kinsey was gathering data from volunteers who were likely to have a greater number of unconventional sex histories than would be seen in a truly random sample of the general population. At this point, when Kinsey could compare sex histories with Maslow's psychological profiles, Kinsey broke off the cooperation with Maslow and refuse to give Maslow the sex history data he had obtained from Maslow's students, data which would have allowed Kinsey and Maslow to quantify the error introduced by the volunteer effect.
Six weeks before his death, Maslow retold the story to a colleague:
[W]hen I warned him about "volunteer error" he disagreed with me and was sure that his random selection would be okay. So what we did was to cook up a joint crucial test. I put the heat on all my five classes at Brooklyn College and made a real effort to get them all to sign up to be interviewed by Kinsey. We had my dominance test scores for all of them and then Kinsey gave me the names of the students who actually showed up for the interviews. As I expected, the volunteer error was proven and the whole basis of Kinsey's statistics was proven to be shaky. But then he refused to publish it and refused even to mention that it in his books, or to mention anything else that I had written. All my work was excluded from his bibliography. So after a couple of years I just went ahead and published it myself.
(Letter from Abraham H. Maslow to Amram Scheinfeld, April 29, 1970, Archives of the History of American Psychology, NB Box M424, University of Akron, Ohio, as cited in Reisman and Eichel, p. 182)
Kinsey and his associates acted as if the collaboration with Maslow never took place. The facts, apparently, did not support Kinsey's agenda, which was not publishing scientific truth. Reisman and others have shown that he had a personal agenda of making perverse behavior seem normal - behaviors that were pat of his life - and had an agenda of obtaining fame. As Maslow wrote, "Al was setting out then to be the world's No. 1 sexology (sic) - and by gosh, he succeeded, though by means which we'd hardly endorse." (Reisman and Eichel, p. 183).
Independently of Maslow, Lewis M. Terman of Stanford University critiqued Kinsey's report in 1948, collaborating with statistician Quinn McNemar. The internal evidence within Kinsey's reported data alone demonstrated to McNemar that there was serious bias. According to Terman, McNemar's calculations "confirm the suspicion that willingness to volunteer is associated with greater than average sexual activity. And since the volunteers account for about three-fourths of the 5,300 males reported in this volume, it follows that Kinsey's figures, in all probability, give an exaggerated notion of the amount of sexual activity in the general population" (L.M. Terman, Psychological Bulletin, 45: 443-459, 1948, as cited by Reisman and Eichel, pp. 20-21). Terman also noted that many of the volunteers came looking for advice on their personal sexual problems, such as learning more about the potential harmful effects of excessive sex. Those volunteering out of a need for advice on such matters are likely to be greatly over represented relative to the general population. Careful random sampling is required if results are to be extrapolated to the general population.
Even apart from the bias introduced by relying mainly on volunteers is the bias introduced by Kinsey's questioning. Rather than devising an objective means of polling people, Kinsey used a "burden of denial" technique which put pressure on his subjects to confess to high levels of sexual activity. Kinsey described this technique himself:
The interviewer should not make it easy for a subject to deny his participation in any form of sexual activity. . . . We always assume that everyone has engaged in every type of activity. Consequently, we begin by asking when they first engaged in such activity. [Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, p. 53, emphasis in original.]
Kinsey's work was tainted by blatant fraud and even gross criminal behavior (sexual molestation of young children) to justify Kinsey's views. It was a fraud, and it is the result of ongoing fraud that his work is repeated as foundational truth even after it has been thoroughly exposed. From the perspective of some significant people in our society, it doesn't matter whether Kinsey's conclusions were true or not - all that matters is that his conclusions support favored lifestyles and attitudes of the immoral, self-anointed elitists who pursue their vision of how society ought to be - a vision that is remarkably immune to facts. The 10% myth fits the political objectives of the self-anointed ones, so it will be repeated, regardless of its disconnection to truth.
Depending on which study is used, more accurate estimations of the gay population range from 0.8% to about 3% - numbers well below the wildly inflated and mythical 10% figure. See How Many Gays? - an article from National Review by Michael Fumento. For example, in 1990, a study by the University of Chicago estimated that no more than 1.6% of the population in the United States was homosexual (Tom Smith, "Adult Sexual Behavior: Number of Partners, Frequency and Risk," Paper presented to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, New Orleans, February 1990). Numerous other studies confirm that somewhere from about 1% to about 3% of the population is homosexual, depending in some cases on how homosexual is defined. Kinsey's fraudulent claim of 10% remains unsupported. It's time we drop that myth!
Interestingly, several major pro-homosexual groups have acknowledge in a legal brief that less than 3% of the population is gay. This admission is documented by Peter Sprigg in his article, "Homosexual Groups Back Off From '10 Percent' Myth" for the Family Research Council. The legal brief was filed as an amicus curiae brief in the Lawrence v. Texas case before the Supreme Court. I suspect that this backing off was for credibility purposes in their legal arguments. Will they back off from the 10% claim in other forums? Something tells me that students and the public in general will keep hearing that 10% of the population is gay.
See also my other blog posting, The Danger of Gay Marriage.