Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Gay men on their knees: In a previous post on violent victimization, I displayed data showing that gay men are like women and lesbians are like men. Let's look at another characteristic--religiosity. Going to church is more of a woman's thing (unless you're a leader). According to the General Social Survey, the following percent of people attend religious services at least once a month:

Percent attending church at least once per month

Straight women 51.4
Straight men 41.7
Gay men 38.5
Lesbians 32.4

Lesbians end up being the most "masculine" of the bunch. You might respond that lesbians don't attend church because most religions condemn homosexuality, and there is certainly some truth to that, but then why do so many gay guys go? They go almost as much as straight men.

I won't list percentages of church membership, since the only significant differences are that more gay men and lesbians belong to no church, and compared to straight women, fewer lesbians are Catholic. Maybe lesbians drop out because they feel the Catholic Church is more patriarchal. Or maybe more Catholic women refuse to identify themselves as lesbian.

I'm surprised by the high numbers for gay men. They attend church a lot, although I'm sure some people make them feel uncomfortable there. Evidently, they're a pretty motivated, religious group. That's news to me (the stereotype is that a church is the last place you'd find a gay guy on his knees) but I shouldn't be surprised when I think of all those gay Catholic priests.


  1. MarcZ6:42 AM

    Ugh. Couldn't you resist the obvious double innuendo? ;-)

    Seriously, this probably wouldn't surprise you if you knew a lot of gay men. Yeah, a lot are superficial queens, but a lot are also very spiritual, or at least see themselves as such. And of course, if you're Catholic and gay, well, there's all that pageantry...

  2. Ron,
    Just stumbled on your blog today. Very interesting take on things. After reading some of your thoughts on belief in God and your politics, It occured to me that you might really enjoy the writings of "Gagdad Bob" over at one cosmos. I have been reading it for the last year and it has moved me from hoping that God is real to knowing it. Quite a difference.

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