Are 25% really GLBT?

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A new Gallup poll finds that many Americans vastly overestimate the number of GLBT individuals in the population.

U.S. adults, on average, estimate that 25% of Americans are gay or lesbian. More specifically, over half of Americans (52%) estimate that at least one in five Americans are gay or lesbian, including 35% who estimate that more than one in four are.

But, as the Gallup articles points out, 1.7% of Americans identify as lesbian or gay and another 1.8% (mostly women) identify as bisexual.

Yet, as economist Karl Smith notes, “most Americans believe that there are significantly more gays and lesbians than blacks (12.6%) or Hispanics (16.3%) and 35% of Americans believe there are as many or more gays than Catholics (approximately 25%).”

Women and young adults aged 18 to 29 give higher estimates than men and older adults.

Why the overestimating?

Why do so many overestimate the number of GLBT persons in the population? Maybe because TV shows, schools, even churches regularly promote GLBT families as both prevalent and morally equivalent to mom-dad families.

A gay blogger, Daniel Villarreal, states: “We want educators to teach future generations of children to accept queer sexuality. In fact, our very future depends on it.”

He added: “Why would we push anti-bullying programs or social studies classes that teach kids about the historical contributions of famous queers unless we wanted to deliberately educate children to accept queer sexuality as normal?”

Read more here.