Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Sappho & Erinna by Simeon Solomon 1864

Billy Crystal recently found himself in hot water with the following comment to the Television Critics Association regarding gay sex:

"Sometimes, it’s just pushing it a little too far for my taste and I’m not going to reveal to you which ones they are. I hope people don't abuse it and shove it in our face to the point where it feels like an every-day kind of thing,"

So the question is, is Hollywood pushing gay sex on TV and in the movies? According to the Washington Post the National Center for Health Statistics puts the number of gay and bisexual Americans at less than 3%. More specifically, 1.8% of men and 1.5% of women self-identify as homosexual.

So where is Hollywood at?

Curiously that liberal bastion of "thought" Thinkprogress completely ignores homosexuality in their analysis of TV character demographics although helpfully provides that 9.6% of us would be doctors if reality mirrored TV. 

GLAAD reports that among 109 scripted prime-time shows featuring 796 regular characters, 26 are gay and 771 a ratio that works out to 3.3% for the 2013-2014 broadcast year, the previous years ration was 4.1%.

So it is possible that there are slightly more homosexuals on TV as you would find in real life, but those are just characters, not characters having sex.  Demographic numbers on TV sex scenes were a little harder to come by.  

A study by the National Institute of Health for the 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 seasons found that sexual content associated with non-heterosexuals was found in 15% of content, although the overall occurrence was low. Curious to note that gay sex content increased almost 15% while heterosexual content increased only 7%.

One thing is for sure, Americans massively overestimate the number of homosexuals among us.  Overall US adults, on average, estimate that 25% of Americans are gay or lesbian, only 4% correctly identify that the true number is less than 5%.

In another GLAAD study of 138 shows, 86% had at least one gay character... how many do you think had an overtly self-identified Christian (76% of the population) character?

So what do you think? Is gay sex overrepresented on television?  

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