Friday, February 18, 2005

Are these really lesbians?

Clayton Cramer is fond of pointing his readers to a study that found that "20 percent to 30 percent of American women" who shoot IV drugs are lesbians or bisexuals. The study also notes that


Of the 803 women IDUs, 45 percent reported having been homeless in the prior six months, and 28 percent reported having received money for sex during this period. W[omen who have]S[ex with]W[omen] I[ntervenous]D[rug]U[ser]s were more likely to have been recently homeless, to have ever been institutionalized in a mental health facility, and to have ever been incarcerated....WSW IDUs...reported having more male sexual partners [Rowe's emphasis].


Sorry, but upon deeper reflection is appears that many -- perhaps the overwhelming majority -- of these women are not "lesbians" in the Melissa Etheridge, Ellen Degeneres sense. There is a difference between a real homosexual -- that is someone who is predominately or exclusively attracted to members of the same sex and who defines him or herself as "gay" or "lesbian" -- and a heterosexual, who for whatever reason, experiments with homosexual sex. For instance, not too many of the self-identified lesbians that I know have promiscuous sex with men.

If you were to tell me that HETEROSEXUAL female drug-addicted prostitutes, porn stars, or strippers are far more likely to have experimented with homosexual sex than those not within the group, I'd have no problem believing it (and that's the conclusion that I draw from this study). And I don't consider them to be "bisexuals" either, which I understand to be someone with a roughly full-and-even attraction to both sexes.

And part of the reason why I don't consider them to be "bi" is because 1) these people tend to not consider themselves "bi" but rather, heterosexual, and 2) more importantly we tend to (rightly in my opinion) see the "gay or bi" box as being rather small -- maybe between 3 to 4 percent of the population.

For instance, Cramer writes that these (lesbian or bi) women who are more likely to use IV drugs constitute 1-2% of the population. Well, not exactly. Yes, it's true that lesbian women constitute about 1-2% of the overall population. But if we are talking about women in general who have experimented with homosexual sex -- or if we are talking about the general population and ask who has experimented, at some time in their lives, with homosexual sex -- we are probably talking about somewhere between 20% and 1/3 of the population, the overwhelming majority of whom consider themselves to be "straight." Of course it could be argued that these folks have *some* type of bisexuality. But if that's the case, then the "gay or bi" box just got a hell of a lot bigger to include about 1/4 of the population.

Finally, check out what the Concerned Women for America have to say about the characteristics of homosexuals and compare that with our above info:

According to Online Partners, the owners of homosexual web portal
Gay.com,13 homosexuals represent a $450 billion market.14 Simmons Market Research Bureau's comparison of homosexual consumers to the national index of consumers reports that homosexual consumers are:

Over twice as likely as national index to be professionals/managers
Twice as likely to have household income over $60,000
Twice as likely to have household income over $250,000
Twice as likely to have graduated from college
Four times as likely to spend over $150 on long distance monthly
Twice as likely to spend $250 on cellular service
Over 90 percent took a domestic trip this year
60 percent took a foreign trip in the last three years
65 percent identify themselves as having to have the "latest"
68 percent upgrade to a product's latest model
77 percent "believe in indulging in themselves"
57 percent "prefer to buy top of the line"
59 percent buythemselves whatever they want

According to the Miami Daily Business Review, homosexuals have
"extraordinarily high disposable income, and are a very attractive target for advertisers." The Review also noted the following findings from the Simmons report:

21 percent of homosexuals have household incomes exceeding $100,000
31 percent have personal income exceeding $65,000
61 percent have a four-year college degree, compared with the U.S. mean of 18 percent
17 percent hold masters degrees, compared with 4 percent of the U.S. population as a whole.15



Not exactly the type of people where you'd expect them to be far likelier to have "reported having received money for sex...to have been recently homeless, to have ever been institutionalized in a mental health facility, and to have ever been incarcerated."

1 comment:

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