Gay pride. by the numbers

A few comments (inserted between the lines of and after the article from Statistics Canada that is quoted in the following) are in order.

Gay pride. by the numbersPride Flag

By Statistics Canada
http://www42.statcan.ca/smr08/smr08_118-eng.htm

Each summer, gay and lesbian pride festivities are celebrated in towns and cities across Canada.

The rainbow flag that symbolizes gay and lesbian pride is just as colourful as the individuals who make up the community. Like all people in Canada, gays and lesbians are of many ethnicities, cultures and backgrounds, and have various education levels and occupations.

That those “gay and lesbian pride festivities…in towns and cities across Canada” are being celebrated each summer is not entirely a voluntary circumstance.  The festivities and gay-pride parades are being imposed under influence of the full force of the federal government, whenever a mayor of  a city dares to refuse to declare a gay-pride week or -parade.  Costs of fines and legal fees incurred for failure to comply or for simply contesting the diktat by the federal government typically ranged from about $20,000 to about $65,000.

Mind you, the majority of Canadian mayors play along without urging by the State.  Statistic Canada fails to identify whether that is because a given mayor does so entirely voluntarily or on account of fear of punishment. Still, although some Canadian mayors (e. g.: London, Kelowna, and Edmonton) resisted the federal pressure, they eventually buckled and followed the federal mandate to declare gay-pride festivities.

Still, some private organizations, that at first glance and logically appear to be pro-heterosexual, most definitely and eagerly participate because their sympathies openly lean in that direction.  Take, for example, Fathers 4 Justice (Canada) with the rainbow-coloured background in their side-bar menu, who for three years in a row entered a float in the Vancouver Gay Pride parade.  Of course, that carries a price.  The popularity ranking for their website is a dismally low 12,466,650th place of all websites in the world (three-month average ranking as of 2008 09 10).

Rainbow colours are common.  They show up in every rainbow and are most definitely not a gay monopoly.

Not that sort of rainbow flag, Bruderheim centennial parade, 2008 08 30

Not an LGBT rainbow flag

The presence of a rainbow as part of the display on a parade float is not necessarily a sign of support for gay pride, as shown in the photo of the float of the Bruderheim Moravian Church in the parade that was part of the Bruderheim Centennial celebrating the hundredth year of the incorporation of the village (now a town) of Bruderheim.

Here are some selected numbers on assorted topics related to gay life in Canada.

Same-sex couples across Canada

How many gay, lesbian and bisexual persons are there in Canada?

Statistics Canada does not have the definitive number of people whose sexual orientation is “gay” or “lesbian” or “bi”, but the agency does attempt to quantify some estimates in various surveys.

Nevertheless, a little farther down in their article, Statistic Canada do identify percentage figures for Canadians in the age range of 18 to 59 who declared themselves to be either gay or bi-sexual (1% and 0.7%, respectively).

Given that, a little farther down in its article, StatCan also identifies that of all Canadians 18 and older 1.5 percent identify themselves as being homosexual (gay or lesbian), it would seem that homosexual orientation is for a substantial portion of the gay population a matter of choice that is not necessarily fixed at birth but varies with age.

The Census, however, does count same-sex couples, both married and common-law.

Half of all same-sex couples in Canada lived in the three largest census metropolitan areas (CMA):

21.2% — The proportion of all same-sex couples who resided in Toronto in 2006.

18.4% — The proportion of all same-sex couples who resided in Montréal in 2006.

10.3% — The proportion of all same-sex couples who resided in Vancouver in 2006.

Source: “2006 Census: Families, marital status, households and dwelling characteristics”, The Daily, Wednesday, September 12, 2007.

That StatCan publication identifies that “In 2006, same-sex couples represented 0.6% of all couples in Canada. This is comparable to data from New Zealand (0.7%) and Australia (0.6%).”

Want to know how many same-sex couples (both married and common-law) are in your province, territory or CMA? Consult this 2006 Census Highlight table on Families and households:

Same-sex couples by type of union (married, common-law) and sex, 2006 Census – 20% sample data.

See also: “Table 3: Persons in same-sex unions by broad age groups and sex” in Families and Households Highlight Tables, 2006 Census.


Same-sex spouses

45,300 — The number of same-sex couples in 2006. Of these, about 7,500 (16.5%) were married couples and 37,900 (83.5%) were common-law couples.

53.7% — The proportion of same-sex married spouses who were men.

46.3% — The proportion of same-sex married spouses who were women.

Source: 2006 Census, Family Portrait: Continuity and Change in Canadian Families and Households in 2006.

See also: 2006 Census information on same-sex common-law and married couples; 2006 Census, Marital status.

774 — The approximate number of same-sex marriages in British Columbia in 2003, representing 3.5% of all marriages in the province that year. Nearly 55% were female couples and roughly 46% were male couples.

Source: Spotlight on Same-sex marriages in the Media Room.


A Canadian first

The Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), Cycle 2.1, was the first Statistics Canada survey to include a question on sexual orientation.

1.0% — The percentage of Canadians aged 18 to 59 who reported that they consider themselves to be homosexual (gay or lesbian).

0.7% — The percentage of Canadians aged 18 to 59 who reported that they consider themselves to be bisexual.

Several concepts can be used to measure sexual orientation. These include behaviour, that is, whether a person’s partner or partners are of the same or the opposite sex, and identity, that is, whether a person considers himself or herself to be heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual.

The CCHS uses the concept of identity. Data from other countries suggest that the number of people who consider themselves to be homosexual is much smaller than the number who report having had sexual relations with someone of the same sex. However, people are more willing to answer questions about identity than about behaviour.

Source: “Canadian Community Health Survey”, The Daily, Tuesday June 15, 2004.


Sexual orientation and victimization

According to the 2004 General Social Survey (GSS), gays, lesbians and bisexuals reported experiencing higher rates of violent victimization including sexual assault, robbery and physical assault, than did their heterosexual counterparts.

The number of gays, lesbians and bisexuals who felt they had experienced discrimination was about 3 times higher than that of heterosexuals. Furthermore, 78% of gays and lesbians who experienced discrimination believed it was because of their sexual orientation compared to 29% of bisexuals and 2% of heterosexuals.

1.5% — The proportion of Canadians aged 18 years and over who identified themselves in the GSS as being homosexual (gay or lesbian).

94% — The proportion of Canadians aged 18 years and over who identified themselves in the GSS as being heterosexual.

5% — The percentage of respondents to the GSS who did not state their sexual orientation.

Source: Sexual orientation and victimization, 2004.

1 in 10 — The proportion of hate crimes that were motivated by sexual orientation.

56% — The proportion of all hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation that are marked by violence. This percentage was higher than the proportion of incidents motivated by race/ethnicity (38%) or religion (26%). Common assault was the most frequent type of violent offence.

As a result, incidents motivated by sexual orientation were more likely than other types of hate crime incidents to result in physical injury to victims.

Source: “Study: Hate-motivated crime”, The Daily, Monday, June 9, 2008.


Health

More likely — The probability that gay men, when compared with heterosexual men, would have consulted a medical specialist or mental health service provider.

Less likely — The probability that lesbians, when compared with heterosexual women, would see a family doctor or undergo a Pap test.

Source: “Study: Health care use among gay, lesbian and bisexual Canadians”, The Daily, Wednesday, March 19, 2008.


Physically active

31.4% — The proportion of homosexuals and bisexuals who reported that they were physically active in 2003, compared with 25.4% of heterosexuals.

According to the Canadian Community Health Survey, homosexuals and bisexuals are more likely than heterosexuals to find life stressful.

Source: “Canadian Community Health Survey”, The Daily, Tuesday, June 15, 2004.


Gay parents

3% — The percentage of all male same-sex couples who had children aged 24 and under living in the home in 2006.

16% —The percentage of all female same-sex couples who had children aged 24 and under living in the home in 2006.

Same-sex couples represented less than 1% of all couples (married and common-law) in Canada.

Source: “2006 Census: Families, marital status, households and dwelling characteristics”, The Daily, Wednesday, September 12, 2007.

Less “than 1% of all couples (married and common-law) in Canada” is a bit of an overstatement.  StatCan could easily have been more precise, as its figures presented in their article and related documentation quite clearly permit to calculate that, given that there were 7,059,830 couple families, 45,300 same-sex families comprise 0.64% or two-thirds of one percent of all couple families.  It would have been more appropriate for StatCan to mention that same-sex couples represented the far more precise two-thirds of one percent than the imprecise “less than 1% of all couples (married and common-law) in Canada.”

9% — The percentage of married same-sex male couples who had children in the home in 2006. Less than 2% of men in same-sex common-law unions had children.

24.5% — The percentage of married same-sex female couples who had children in the home in 2006. Less than 15% of women in same-sex common-law unions had children.

Source: 2006 Census, Family portrait: Continuity and change in Canadian families and households in 2006: National portrait: Census families.


You want to know what?!?

Times change… and so do the questions asked by Canada’s national statistical agency.

Statistics Canada goes to great lengths in assuring its questions—including those questions related to sexual orientation—are relevant and feasible.

In testing questions targeted to specialized populations, Statistics Canada found that the positive rapport between the agency and with various groups and individuals, coupled with assurances of anonymity, contribute to respondents feeling very comfortable with the interviewing arrangements.

This trust has led to a situation where respondents are willing to reveal personal details about their lives, and to answer questions honestly.

The consultations on questions with specialized populations also provided many useful insights into the issues being investigated.

Source: Experiences in testing questionnaires with specialized populations.


For information on this page or more data, contact Media Relations.

At any rate, it appears that, all official claims, assertions and expectations to the contrary, concerns about Canada becoming more and more a homosexual nation or that homosexuals represent an important, very influential and rapidly growing sector of the electorate are vastly overrated.  It is recommended to read the document identified by the second-last link in the StatCan article, Experiences in testing questionnaires with specialized populations.

It is difficult and even impossible to understand why Canada’s gays should require “Innovative Methods for Surveying Difficult-to-reach Populations“.  Given that census forms and Gay-Pride parades have become ubiquitous in Canada, the assumption that Canada’s gays are difficult to reach is incredulous and appears to be a figment of StatCan’s imagination. Canadian Gays are no more difficult to reach than are any other Canadians.  In fact, it seems that they are somewhat easier to reach than other Canadians.

The methods described for sample selection as per Innovative Methods for Surveying Difficult-to-reach Populations raise concern that a selected population sample is not representative of the general population of Canadian gays.  Even though any survey results will reflect attributes of the selected survey sample, the rules of the mathematics of statistics do not permit to draw from them any conclusions about the population from which the sample was selected.  The fact that such a sample is not randomly selected does not permit the projection of any survey results found in the sample to the population from which the sample was selected.

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4 Responses to Gay pride. by the numbers

  1. Chris,

    Thanks for your input.

    Have a look at comment #2 for a link to an article on Kinsey’s 10-percent myth.

    –Walter

  2. The following comment is by Chris.

    This is very good news.  At last we know how small EGALE really is [EGALE is an acronym to identify the name of the Canadian organization Equality for Gays And Lesbians Everywhere — égalé is the French term for equalled, with the use of that term as the desired acronym most likely having been a concession made to the French contingent of Canada’s gay and lesbian population sector — F4L].

    If one were to calculate how much government attention and funding this 1.7% of the population receives, there should be outrage by taxpayers!

    I recall that many years ago (in the 1980’s) when the AIDS epidemic was raging (I lived in Toronto at the time) and it was presented by the press of the day to be the most gigantic health issue facing Canadians!  For me, a young hetero male, it was disconcerting – and it occurred to me that if this problem was so large then certainly someone like StatCan would have an idea of the gay population’s size.  They didn’t.

    Neither did the City of Toronto Public Health Dept., despite a massive PR campaign all over the city (Bus, Subway, Trams etc.) about the danger of unprotected sex (without bothering to say that the unspoken targets of the campaign were homosexual men, who were known for their prolific priapic tendencies of many multiple, unprotected sex partnerings.  Most single hetero men I knew were well protected – or perhaps generously un-accommodated is a better way to describe it – by the fairer sex.  They weren’t getting anything – and certainly not unprotected hetero sex or any other kind until the engagement ring was on her finger, thank-you!

    To enhance its image, EGALE did little to dissuade anyone from believing that the Male Homosexual population might be as high as 10% of all men!  This was an incredible figure for me, as I only knew one or two gays!  I began to wonder if everyone with a lisp might be gay but just hid it well.  Of course, I learned that the “10% Homo” figure was an early discredited estimate of homosexual behaviour by Kinsey based on a 1945-50 male prison population!  Definitely biased, plus subjects were not “self-identified” (i. e., asked if they considered themselves to be homosexuals – which, given the time and place, would most likely have under-estimated the gay population).  The data reflected whether subjects had “ever performed homosexual acts” – clearly a broad interpretation open to great potential error.

    Now that we know the “official” size of the gay population – lets start totaling how much we spend accommodating this tiny minority – and how pro-gay government policy interferes with, impedes  and inhibits genuine legitimate activity of the other 98.3% of the population who are neither gay nor lesbian. A cost-benefit analysis of sexual orientation if you will – and share that with the taxpaying public.  When that is completed, I am sure we will hear howls of protest from EGALE about how many homos are still in the closet – claiming that StatCan data still significantly under-represents the true population of “Dorothy’s Friends.”

    Walter, thanks for bringing all this data to my attention.

    Cheers, crj

  3. Javier, many thanks for that.

    I never made as exhaustive an investigation of the issue as you did, but over the years I took note of some study results that I came across.

    Estimates of proportion of homosexual population sector
    (Author; proportion in percent of population sample; nature of population sector; n = sample size)

    Paul Cameron: 3%; homosexual; n ?
    Judith A. Reisman: 4%; bisexual/homosexual; n ?
    Fergusson et al.: 2.9%; gay, lesbian and bisexual; n = 1,007
    Herrell et al.: 1.8%; male homosexual; n = 6,537
    Kinsey * : 10 – 37%; male homosexual; n = 5,300

    * Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, Kinsey, Fig. 161, 10% exlusively, more than 10% but no more than 90% at least sometimes, Fig. 161 is reproduced in Kinsey: Crimes and Consequences, p. 101) Due to the fact that Kinsey used substandard sample selection (i. e.: non-random sampling, self-reporting and prison populations), reputable social researcher no longer consider his “research” to be valid, but it is still widely quoted by homosexualists who persist in using a figure of 10 percent and even higher.

    Refer to The Ten-Percent Myth for an in-depth discussion of why Kinsey’s estimates are wrong and for the proof that they are wrong.

    It should be of some concern that the findings by StatCan indicate that men are twice as likely to engage in homosexual behaviour than women are. The explanation for that difference is quite possibly the fact discovered in a study that examined whether men or women are equally likely to tell the truth.

    The study established that women are considerably less likely to tell the truth about their sexual proclivities if they assume that their answers are not made in complete anonymity, while they are considerably more truthful with their answers if they believe that their answers are provided in complete anonymity. The questions asked in that study concerned the respective proclivities of men and women to cheat on their partners.

    Popular opinion dictates that predominantly men cheat or are unfaithful. Given that it takes two to cheat, that popular opinion does not make statistical sense and is definitely a false belief that is a product of years (perhaps hundreds or even thousands of years) of steady and intense indoctrination. The study found that men are persistently more likely than women to tell the truth, whether they feel that they have anonymity or not. On the other hand, when they believed that their answers were given in total privacy and under conditions of complete anonymity, women’s answers were in line with those provided by men. In other words, the results established that, in their own words, men and women are equally likely to cheat on one another. (More at: Adultery is not abuse, and women don’t lie?)

    Perhaps it is possible that StatCan’s finding of the proportions of homosexuals in men and women, 1.5% vs. 0.7%, is an artifact of their selective sampling methods that were, as they identified in their article, not only based on declarations in census survey forms (whom few people believe to totally anonymous) but also on Innovative Methods for Surveying Difficult-to-reach Populations (thereby guarantied to provide skewed results), even though it appears that the assumption that homosexuals of either sex are difficult to reach cannot possibly be entirely correct and may quite well be totally wrong.

  4. Alvarez says:

    A year ago, I did a bit of work about the percentage of homosexual persons in the general population. My conclusion was that this percentage can be established in the interval of 1% to 3% of the population, considering 3% as an upper limit inflated to compensate for under reporting. After examining 25 large studies, I found the average rate of homosexuals in the population was 2.1%. You can find those 25 studies, with links to originals, compiled in a table at the end of this article.

    Saludos

    Javier Alvarez (Madrid)

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