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Sex in America Survey:
gay statistics and UMC Discipline

by John Miles

Dear Friends,

I have recently been reading the book, "Sex in America" an exhaustive study into American sexual habits. I must confessed when I picked up the book I turned to the chapter on homosexuality. Since this issue has to potential to split most of the main line denominations in the U.S., I thought the books insights might be helpful. What I read did not surprise me but it did confirm what I have suspected. It is fun to have facts to back up your opinions. Based on this report much of the pro-homosexual lobby in this country is simply wrong.

1. Homosexual advocacy groups claim ten percent of the population is gay.

"About 5.5 percent of the women said they found the thought of having sex with someone of the same gender very appealing or appealing. ... Less than two percent of the women in our study, however, said they had sex with another woman in the past year." pg. 174

"About 6 percent of the men in our study said they were attracted to other men. About 2 percent of the men in our study said they had sex with a man in the past year." pg. 175

"No matter how we define homosexuailty, we come up with small percentages of people who are currently gay or lesbian. These numbers, in fact, may sound astonishingly low, especially to residents of cities like New York or San Francisco, where there are large gay and lesbian communities. But, we found, gays and lesbians are not evenly distribute across the country." pg. 177

"More than 9 percent of men in the nation's twelve largest cities identify themselves as gay. But just 3 or 4 percent of men living in the suburbs of these cities or in most of the larger cities of the nation say they are gay and about 1 percent of men in rural areas identify themselves as gay." pg.177

2. The homosexual lobby claims that homosexuality is set and can not be changed.

"First, people often change their sexual behavior during their lifetimes, making it impossible to state that a particular set of behaviors define a person as gay." pg.172

"We have no direct data on the nature-nurture question, however our findings are relevant to how that debate might proceed. If any nature theory is based on a constant proportion of the population being 'homosexual,' our findings suggest that proportion is very small, and that the status may change for individuals from one age to another." pg. 183

3. Homosexual advocates claim that sexual behavior is based on nature not nurture.

"Our findings do not specifically address the nature-nurture question about homosexuality. But they strongly suggest there are major social influences on the prevalence of homosexuality." pg170

" we discovered that people who were raised in large cities were more likely to be homsexual than people who were raised in suburb, towns, or the countryside. This relationship also showed up in the General Social Survey, an independent national sample."pg. 182

"Our study shows that twice as many college-educated men identify themselves as homsoexual as men with high-school educations. 3 percent of college men said they were gay as compared to 1.5 percnet of men with high-school educations. For women, the trend is even more striking. Women with college educations are eight time more likely to identify themseves as lesbains as compared to less than half a percent of female high-school gradutates." pg.182

All these numbers simply confirms my beliefs that we have the right response to homosexuality in the Book Of Discipline of the United Methodist Church. The report from this comprehensive study should strengthen that position.

Your Brother,


John Miles is:
  • an Elder in the North Arkansas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church
  • is currently pastor of Heber Springs United Methodist Church
  • is a graduate of Hendrix College and Perkins School of Theology
  • is on the Board of the Confessing Movement of Arkansas and is active in Walk to Emmaus and Kairos Prison Ministry
  • In 1997 his church won the large church of the year award for the North Arkansas Annual Conference

John Miles also publishes a weekly E-mail newsletter on issues facing the United Methodist Church. If you would like to recieve that E-mail write

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