sexuality

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Changing times: students stage a kiss-in at a Sainsbury’s store in Brighton last year after two gay women were threatened with ejection for kissing. (CREDIT: Christopher Ison)

Drawing on the widest survey of sexual behavior since the Kinsey Report, David Spiegelhalter, in his book Sex by Numbers, answers key questions about our private lives. Here he reveals how Kinsey's contested claim that 10% of us are gay is actually close to the mark.

For a single statistic to be the primary propaganda weapon for a radical political movement is unusual. Back in 1977, the US National Gay Task Force (NGTF) was invited into the White House to meet President Jimmy Carter’s representatives – a first for gay and lesbian groups. The NGTF’s most prominent campaigning slogan was “we are everywhere”, backed up by the memorable statistical claim that one in 10 of the US population was gay – this figure was deeply and passionately contested.

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