Sunday, August 12, 2007

Gay men are having significantly fewer children: A reader named Old Pete suggested in the previous post that greater homophobia could pressure gay men into getting married and having children predisposed to homosexuality, thus increasing their numbers. (This reminds me of the argument that anti-Semitism keeps the Jewish community from intermarrying and disappearing). I wondered if the opposite is happening now. Looking at the General Social Survey, I calculated the mean number of children for men 40 and over by sexual orientation and decade:

Mean number of children

Gay men 1.90
Straight men 2.65

Gay men .96
Straight men 2.38

Gay men .93
Straight men 2.17

The average number of kids has come down for both groups, but from the 80s to the 90s, it dropped dramatically for gay men. Things have levelled off in this decade, suggesting that for now gay men will average a little less than half the kids that straight men have.


Anonymous said...

Frankly, I'm amazed gay men have so many kids. I'd have guessed a rate of 20-30 percent of the heterosexual rate.


Ron Guhname said...

For this decade, 34% have at least one kid.

MarcZ said...

Are there any studies at all suggesting that homosexuality is inherited from the father? I've looked for this online and all the studies I've seen suggest that the children of gay men and women are no more likely to be gay than are the children of heterosexuals, BUT it's not made clear in the studies I've found whether the children were adopted or biological. (The focus of the study was usually to see whether being raised by a gay or lesbian couple affected sexuality, not to uncover a genetic basis for homosexuality.)