Saturday, August 11, 2007

Approval of homosexuality continues to climb

Now that the most recent year of the General Social survey is publicly available, let's look at the trend in attitudes toward homosexuality. I suspected that the gay marriage movement might be causing a backlash, but there's little evidence of that. Looking at the purple line, the percent saying that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality went up a little 2004-2006. Approval really starting growing in the early 90s, rose quickly, and has risen more slowly in this decade.

This trend evidently shows the power of the cultural elites. The AIDS epidemic--a deadly and expensive disease strongly associated with lifestyle--barely put a dent in attitudes in the 80s, but as soon as elites decided to ratchet up the pro-homosexual message, public opinion followed. I remember in a class in the early 90s--no one in a room full of liberals thought that America was ready for even civil unions.


  1. I see a couple of interesting things on this graph:
    1) Acceptance of homosexuality may be on the rise, but more than half of respondents still think it's "always wrong."
    2) Neither of the "sometimes" choices gets much support. Attitudes toward homosexuality tend toward either extreme.

  2. old pete11:20 AM

    I question I've long pondered is: what are the long-term consequences of social tolerance/intolerance on the rate of homosexuality in the general population?

    If homosexuality has any significant genetic basis, intolerance could have the paradoxical effect of increasing the percentage of the population predisposed to homosexuality by coercing gays into heterosexual marriage where they will reproduce and pass on their genes. In other words, intolerance unwittingly mitigates the severe evolutionary fitness disadvantage that homosexuality would otherwise confer.

    However, since it's politically incorrect to suggest a hereditary basis for any behavioral characteristic, this irony is seldom commented upon.

    -Old Pete (Not the same person as Peter.)

  3. Anonymous5:01 PM

    Could I ask where you got this from? I've been searching and not finding anything. I'm doing a paper on this topic.


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