Perhaps if you let the media guide you, you would presume such high numbers. In reality the percentage of the population identified as homosexual has never ever approached 10%, is generally thought to be less than 7%, and, some suggest, far less -- more like 2-3%. Now, mind you, we are not talking the percentage who have had a same sex attraction or experience but who do not believe they are gay. Even then, the numbers are not nearly as dramatic as you might think.
Now comes an Australian study that suggests even these numbers may be on the high side. LaTrobe University did the study and the results are available here in summary or in fuller version in PDF format. In its 2005 study on human sexuality, the Australian Longitudinal Study of Health and Relationships reported that .66 per cent of women and 1.03 per cent of men self-identified as gay/lesbian. Yet if you go deeper into the Australian study and look at Table 3 you will see the question of sexual identity is rather more nuanced.
Table 3: Sexual Identity, Attraction and Experience of Respondents
|Sexual attraction||Opposite sex||90.6||95.88||7,642|
|Sexual experience||Opposite sex||89.94||91.08||7,418|
While the rate of self-identification as gay/lesbian in the population hovers at around 1 per cent, the rates for sexual attraction to the same sex and sexual experience are much higher.
My point is that we have generally false impressions from what we see on TV, what we see in the movies, what we read in the news media, and from the way this subjected is approached. Clearly, the whole issue of gay and lesbian marriage, gay and lesbian rights, and gay and lesbian political influence has been inflated by the presumption of big numbers. In reality, the percentage of self-identified gay or lesbian individuals is much lower. I would suggest that the false impression of the size of the gay and lesbian population and their access to media have combined to give permission to the kind of experimentation that has inflated the numbers of those who have a same sex attraction or who have had a same sex experience. The most pervasive influence of the media and its greatest danger to us are not the direct attacks upon the faith but the false impressions about the nature of what people think, how they live, what they want, and what is normal. These are powerful forces both upon our thoughts and values and upon our willingness to stand up for what we believe. This is not simply true in the area of sexuality. We need to diffuse the false information and correct the false impressions that have so much sway over us (both in and outside of the Church).