How Many Gays Are There? It Depends

  • Ritch C. Savin-Williams
Part of the Nebraska Symposium on Motivation book series (NSM, volume 54)

This is not a study of “homosexuals” but of participants in homosexual acts… This is the activity, and these are the actors, that I set out to study in 1965

(Humphreys, 1970, p. 18).

Since the time of Laud Humphreys' Tearoom Trade and his investigation of “covert deviants,” homosexuality has achieved both public and scientific visibility. Once considered by scientists to be a legal, moral, and mental abnormality, homosexuality is currently perceived by many scholars and youth as merely statistically deviant. This is not to deny that some portion of the US population still believes that same-sex sexuality is a religious and psychological aberration. It is the statistical and not the psychological health question that I address in this chapter: How many gays are there? In other contexts I explore whether the answer to this question matters in select (primarily clinical) domains (Savin-Williams, 2006).

Early gay scholars answered the “how many” question based on a misreading of Kinsey's...


Sexual Behavior Sexual Orientation Sexual Identity Sexual Attraction Sexual Fantasy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ritch C. Savin-Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.Human DevelopmentCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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