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SLIDESHOW: U.S.’s LGBT Community—Revealing Trends & Attitudes

Just ahead of the Supreme Court’s rulings on same-gender marriage, the Pew Research Center released a series of surveys regarding attitudes, experiences and acceptance in the United States’ LGBT community. The studies provided some unique insights. DiversityInc presents some of the most revealing.

By the Numbers: A Look at the U.S.’s LGBT Community
By the Numbers: A Look at the U.S.’s LGBT Community

Earlier this year, the Pew Research Center released a report titled “LGBT in Changing Times” that explores attitudes about sexual orientation and identity. The data from the study provide some unique insights into lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) adults in the U.S. DiversityInc reveals some of the most interesting results by the numbers.

 

92%
92%

92 percent of LGBT adults who responded to the study say society has become more accepting of them in the past decade and an equal percentage expect society to grow even more accepting in the decade ahead. Respondents attribute the changes to a variety of factors, from people knowing and interacting with someone who is LGBT, to advocacy on their behalf by high-profile public figures, to LGBT adults raising families.

 

39%
39%

Nearly four out of 10 respondents (39 percent) say that at some point in their lives they were rejected by a family member or close friend because of their sexual orientation or gender identity; 30 percent say they have been physically attacked or threatened; 29 percent say they have been made to feel unwelcome in a place of worship; and 21 percent say they have been treated unfairly by an employer. Nearly six out of 10 (58 percent) say they’ve been the target of slurs or jokes.

 

56%
56%

56 percent of survey respondents say they have told their mother about their sexual orientation or gender identity, and 39 percent have told their father. Most who did tell a parent say that it was difficult, but relatively few say that it damaged their relationship.

 

Age 12
Age 12

The survey finds that 12 is the median age at which lesbian, gay and bisexual adults first felt they might be something other than heterosexual or straight. For those who say they now know for sure that they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, that realization came at a median age of 17.

Among those who have shared this information with a family member or close friend, 20 is the median age at which they first did so. Gay men report having reached all of these coming-out milestones somewhat earlier than did lesbians and bisexuals.

16%
16%

The survey finds that only 16 percent of LGBT adults—mostly bisexuals with opposite-gender partners—are currently married, compared with about half the adults in the general population. Overall, 60 percent of LGBT survey respondents are either married or say they would like to marry one day, compared with 76 percent of the general public.

 

 

19%
19%

Even though most LGBT adults say there has been significant progress toward social acceptance, relatively few (19 percent) say there is a lot of social acceptance for the LGBT population today. A majority (59 percent) say there is some, and 21 percent say there is little or no acceptance today.

 

66%
66%

The survey found that lesbians are more likely than gay men to be in a committed relationship (66 percent versus 40 percent); likewise, bisexual women are much more likely than bisexual men to be in a committed relationship (68 percent versus 40 percent). In addition, women, whether lesbian or bisexual, are significantly more likely than men to either already have children or to say they want to have children one day.

 

79%
79%

LGBT survey respondents are far more Democratic than the general public—nearly eight out of 10 (79%) are Democrats or lean toward the Democratic Party, compared with 49 percent of the general public. As a result, they are more likely to be more supportive of gun control (64 percent versus 50 percent) and more likely to say that immigrants strengthen the country (62 percent versus 49 percent).

 

18%
18%

In the case of happiness, just 18 percent of LGBT adults describe themselves as “very happy,” compared with 30 percent of adults in the general public. Gays, lesbians and bisexuals are roughly equal in their expressed level of happiness.

 

43%
43%

More than four of 10 LGBT adults (43 percent) have revealed their sexual orientation or gender identity on a social-networking site. While roughly half of gays and lesbians have come out on a social network, only about one-third (34 percent) of bisexuals say they have done this.

Just 16 percent say they regularly discuss LGBT issues online; 83 percent say they do not do this.

 

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3 Comments

  • http://www.diversityinc.com/diversity-and-inclusion/slideshow-lgbt-community-by-the-numbers/

    I am personally offended at some of the pictures in the slideshow. While the pictures may depict some members of the GLBT community a few of them (women with a collar on, man with no shirt, individual with glitter all over their face) are the very stereotypical images that many in the GLBT community are trying to change. As a Manager who wants to promote diversity among my team, this presentation (while the wording is informative) will be ineffective and the message lost as the images will continue to stir negative connotations tainting the receptivity of the audience.

    • Jeanne White

      I agree with what Toni B wrote – some of the pictures are stereotypical and do not promote diversity in a positive light particularly within professional circles. Just as it would be inappropriate and unacceptable to show pictures of scantily dressed women when trying to break down barriers in employment.

  • Honestly, I wasn’t paying any attention to the pictures, but I did find the survey results very interesting so I appreciate the information. I would really like to hear/learn more!

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