STUDY: 5 Percent of American Males are Gay, Millions in the Closet

A new New York Times study reveals that millions in America's gay male population are in the closet.

A new New York Times study reveals that millions in America’s gay male population are in the closet.

The New York Times released intriguing results from a study that were compiled using Gallup polls, Facebook, porn searches and dating sites. What it found was that “at least 5 percent of American men … are predominantly attracted to men, and millions of gay men still live … in the closet.” Another interesting finding is that it’s common for American women to suspect their husband are gay. The research states that, when searching “Is my husband” on Google, the most common word to follow is “gay.”

Here are some more highlights from the study:


  • "Gay men are half as likely as straight men to acknowledge their sexuality on social networks."
  • "About 3.6 percent of American men tell anonymous surveys they are attracted to men and a tenth of gay men say that they do not tell most of the important people in their lives."
  • Not surprisingly, "the openly gay population is dramatically higher in more tolerant states. ... On Facebook, for example, about 1 percent of men in Mississippi who list a gender preference say that they are interested in men; in California, more than 3 percent do.
  • "While tolerant states have a slightly higher percentage of [web searches for the term "gay porn," roughly 5 percent of pornographic searches are looking for depictions of gay men in all states. This again suggests that there are just about as many gay men in less tolerant states as there are anywhere else."
  • "It turns out that wives suspect their husbands of being gay rather frequently. In the United States, of all Google searches that begin 'Is my husband...,' the most common word to follow is 'gay.'”
  • These types of searches are far more common in less-tolerant states: "The states with the highest percentage of women asking this question are South Carolina and Louisiana. In fact, in 21 of the 25 states where this question is most frequently asked, support for gay marriage is lower than the national average."
  • "There is, in other words, a huge amount of secret suffering in the United States that can be directly attributed to intolerance of homosexuality."

Sorry to leave you on that Debbie Downer note. To read about the rest of the study, and to see an infograpihc labeling states where being in the closet is most common, go here.