Google online data expert estimates 1 in 20 American men are gay

A study of Americans’ online habits by economist and Google data analyst Seth Stephens-Davidowitz estimates that five percent of American men are predominantly same-sex attracted but also that more than 1-in-5 are still in the closet

Google online data expert estimates 1 in 20 American men are gay
09 December 2013

New York Times contributor and Google big-data analyst Seth Stephens-Davidowitz says internet data suggests one in twenty American men are predominantly same-sex attracted – suggesting there may be as many as 8 million gay male Americans.

Stephens-Davidowitz made his conclusion public in a New York Times article titled, ‘How many American men are gay?’ on Saturday.

Stephens-Davidowitz came to this conclusion using a combination of data from surveys, social networks, pornographic searches and dating websites.

According to Stephens-Davidowitz, 5 percent of all online searches for pornography by Americans are gay male related, and though while slightly less people are searching for gay porn in less tolerant states, he says this suggests a national average.

He also found that gay men in less tolerant states were more likely to seek anonymous flings rather than committed relationships.

Married women from these states were also the most likely to Google the phrase ‘is my husband gay.’

‘Is my husband gay’ was the most common phrase beginning with the words ‘is my husband…’ being Googled in the United States but the question was most asked in states with the lowest support for marriage equality.

Stephens-Davidowitz also found a significant correlation between statewide support for same-sex marriage and whether gay men were open about their sexuality in their use of social media.

‘Since less tolerant states have similar percentages of gay men but far fewer openly gay men, there is a clear relationship between tolerance and openness,’ Stephens-Davidowitz writes.

‘My preliminary research indicates that for every 20 percentage points of support for gay marriage about one-and-a-half times as many men from that state will identify openly as gay on Facebook.

‘In a perfectly tolerant world, my model estimates that about 5 percent of men in the United States would say they were interested in men. Note that this matches nicely with the evidence from pornographic search data.’

According to Stephens-Davidowitz more than 1-in-5 gay male Americans is still yet to come out



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