Sexuality and Religiosity Revisited: Don’t believe shit polls.

Religiosity and Sexuality: 1991-2012 GSS

Religiosity and Sexuality: 1991-2012 GSS

Last week, with much fanfare as always, the boys at Pew released a bullshit study supposedly examining the religious beliefs of LGBT persons—whatever that means. I happen to have done some real research on religion and sexuality, and it struck me that the estimates of the proportion of LGBT persons who reject religious identification and who don’t believe in gods were way too high. At first, I thought, well, I have behavioral measures of sexuality (who did you have sex with in the last five years), while they may have identity measures (are you gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered), and maybe that makes a difference? Then, I pulled up their press release, and what do I find? Well, Jesus fuck a bunny in the ass….the “Pew” data are actually taken from the same non-random marketing panel used by Marky Mark Regnerus! Awesome! So, this is not at all a random sample of LGBT persons (or anyone else), and so these estimates are simply unbelievable.  D0 nearly half of LGBT people reject religious identification? NO.

In light of the bullshit clouding our understandings of whether or not GLBT people are connected to religion, I decided to crank out some estimates from an honest to fuck national probability sample (N=857  people having sex with the same sex for religious identification and 472 for beliefs about gods) and revisit my findings from the 2002 JSSR paper. And, of course, since gender structures all of this, I present the results by gender. What I find is that non-identification is higher among sexual minorities, particularly bisexuals of both genders—but it is nowhere near 50%—the highest is 28% for bisexual females. Put another way, over three fourths of exclusively homosexual females  and males remain connected to a religious identification. Had I controlled for age and other demographics, I would find (as I did in the JSSR paper) that sexual minorities look like heterosexual males. Similarly, more gays, bisexuals, and lesbians reject gods, but this figure is based on lumping atheism, agnosticism, and “believe in a higher power but not a god”. The numbers are too small to justify leaving it at just Atheism or Agnosticism. Incidentally, GSS estimates of rates of atheism are slightly HIGHER for heterosexual men (4.2%) than for gays or lesbians (both with 4.1%).

I strongly suspect that the motivation for this “study” is to amplify that LGBT persons are outside of the mainstream and disconnected to religion. That gives more reason for religious people and religious groups to view LGBT people as outsiders. But, in reality, despite all of the shit religion puts people through, many LGBT people cling to their religious beliefs and identifications.

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