Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 76 (8908 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 05-19-2019 11:35 PM
26 online now:
AZPaul3, edge, Tanypteryx (3 members, 23 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: WeloTemo
Upcoming Birthdays: Percy
Post Volume:
Total: 851,617 Year: 6,654/19,786 Month: 1,195/1,581 Week: 17/393 Day: 17/30 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Is homosexuality a natural response to large populations?
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 7 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 25 of 44 (111064)
05-28-2004 4:42 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by custard
05-28-2004 3:54 AM


Re: new to board - fascinating
custard quotes Smith:

quote:
since age 18 less than 1% are gay

The problem with this claim is that if it were true, that means every gay male in the US lives in either Los Angeles or New York.

That's it, no more.

Strange how we keep finding them in places like San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Miami, Houston, Seattle...pretty much everywhere you go.


Rrhain
WWJD? JWRTFM!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by custard, posted 05-28-2004 3:54 AM custard has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by custard, posted 05-28-2004 4:48 AM Rrhain has responded

    
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 7 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 28 of 44 (111068)
05-28-2004 5:09 AM
Reply to: Message 26 by custard
05-28-2004 4:48 AM


Re: new to board - fascinating
custard responds to me:

quote:
quote:
The problem with this claim is that if it were true, that means every gay male in the US lives in either Los Angeles or New York.

How did you get there? Sorry, if I sound obtuse, but I don't follow.


Do the math.

There are about 140 million men in the US. 1% of them is about 1.4 million individuals.

The greater Los Angeles and New York City areas have very large populations of gay people (not to mention very large populations). Thus, you'd hit 1.4 million gay men just by counting the gay men in those two places.

If only 1% of the population of men in the US are gay, then they all live in New York or LA.

And since well over a million people showed up to the March on Washington, presumably most of them gay, a population of 1.4 million gay men would mean that somewhere between a third and a half of them showed up. They all attended this one event? If so, why haven't they been able to organize anything else on such a scale to get half the entire population actively supporting it?


Rrhain
WWJD? JWRTFM!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by custard, posted 05-28-2004 4:48 AM custard has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by custard, posted 05-28-2004 5:20 AM Rrhain has responded

    
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 7 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 32 of 44 (111762)
05-31-2004 8:10 AM
Reply to: Message 29 by custard
05-28-2004 5:20 AM


Re: Yep
custard responds to me:

quote:
Unless you include the 4% bi-sexual men

But I'm not. Just the gay ones. If only 1% of men are gay, there's only about one-and-a-half million gay men in the US. You run out just by counting the ones in NYC and LA. What about SF, Chicago, Boston, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Seattle, and all the other large population centers?

quote:
Of course the study to which you refer is now 13 years old

I wasn't really quoting from any study. I'm simply pointing out that those who claim only 1-2% of the population is gay really has no idea what they're talking about. They are too busy looking at the outcome of the survey to consider comparing what those numbers imply.

Of course, how we treat somebody has nothing to do with how few like him there are.


Rrhain
WWJD? JWRTFM!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by custard, posted 05-28-2004 5:20 AM custard has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 33 by custard, posted 05-31-2004 7:12 PM Rrhain has responded

    
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 7 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 34 of 44 (111922)
05-31-2004 8:19 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by custard
05-31-2004 7:12 PM


Re: Yep
custard responds to me:

quote:
What constitutes 'just the gay ones?'

That would seem to be fairly obvious. Unless you are making an argument that sexual orientation is a vague and nebulous concept....

quote:
You referenced that a million people showed up to the gay march on Washington, that certainly does not mean that the entire population was homosexual (as you implied),

Incorrect. I directly stated something quite different. Message 28:

And since well over a million people showed up to the March on Washington, presumably most of them gay

It would seem that I was well-aware that not all the people at the march were gay.

Suppose we were to take the extremely conservative view that half of the people at the march weren't gay. That's still half a million people. And if we assume that half the participants were male, that means a quarter million people.

That means a good fifth of the entire gay male population showed up to the March on Washington.

That seems a little odd, don't you think? If it were possible to rally the gay community so solidly for this one thing, that they would take time off from work and fly to Washington for this one event, why did it take a Supreme Court ruling to get sodomy laws overturned?

quote:
Using the number of the participants in the march to infer the true numbers of non-bisexual homosexuals in the US will not provide an accurate number.

As a means of determining the final number? No. As a means of determining if the number you have calculated via other means is reasonable? Yes.

The March on Washington gives us an idea of what the lower bound ought to be. If the results of your survey is such that it means a huge proportion of the gay people in the country came to this one, single event, then there is a very good probability that your survey is understating the reality.

quote:
quote:
I wasn't really quoting from any study.

Semantics. You were using the figure of 1% I quoted. So you were referring to that study through my quote.


In that case, how "out-of-date" it is is irrelevant as I was referring to the implications of what that percentage means. If someone were to come out today and say that 1% of the male population is gay, that would still lead to the conclusion that all of them live in NYC or LA.

quote:
And, of course, what my gut thinks is not statiscally valid, so I wouldn't presume to say they don't know what they are talking about.

Ah, but I'm not going by my gut. I'm going by my mathematics training. I am a mathematician, after all, and this is what I spent a lot of time and money learning how to do.

If only 1% of the country is gay, then they all live in NYC or LA and an outrageously high proportion of those showed up to a single political event.

We know that there are more gay people who don't live in NYC or LA and we know that you don't get that high of a response rate for a political rally.

Ergo, the claim of 1-2% must be false.


Rrhain
WWJD? JWRTFM!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by custard, posted 05-31-2004 7:12 PM custard has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by custard, posted 06-01-2004 1:29 AM Rrhain has responded

    
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 7 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 37 of 44 (111966)
06-01-2004 3:07 AM
Reply to: Message 36 by custard
06-01-2004 1:29 AM


Re: Yep
custard responds to me:

quote:
1- We don't know how many people were there.

Yes, we do. We have the records from the sponsors regarding the number of unique visits.

quote:
Crowd estimates for the 2000 gay millenium march

Um, 2000? Who's talking about 2000? I'm talking about 1993. The 2000 March only had a few hundred thousand. The 1993 March had a million.

quote:
We don't know how many gay men were there. You assume half of the total population is homosexual.

Which is a gross underestimate. I chose it for precisely that reason. This way, we get a lower bound. You are right that I do not know the exact proportion of gay people to non-gay people at the March. However, it is unreasonably conservative to claim that only half of them were. Even if we take that extremely inappropriate ratio, we find that 250,000 gay men were at the March...a quarter of the available population (actually, a bit more than that given the total population of the country at the time).

It is unreasonable to think that a quarter of all gay men went to the March on Washington.

quote:
Do you even know what the definition of 'gay man' was, as used by NORC to for its sample populations?

Unless it is an extremely inappropriate definition (such as people who have never, ever had sex with someone of the opposite sex), it doesn't really matter. Whatever the definition, we will use it across the board. The populations of LA and NYC easily have one-and-a-half million gay men by any reasonable definition of the word. To then say that only 0.7% (let's use the actual number, shall we?) of the population of men in the US are gay necessarily means that they all live in those two cities.

Since that obviously is not true, the claim of only 0.7% of the population of men in the US are gay necessarily cannot be true.

By the way...that same NORC study found that 40% of men had never masturbated. Does that sound likely to you?

quote:
The best you can do is come up with a potential range of the number of gay men who were at the march.

Yes, but you are missing the point: All I am doing is coming up with a lower bound. I am not trying to come up with a specific number. I think it's safe to say that there was one gay man there (after all, Norman from The Real World was there and he's gay.)

This is common in mathematical analysis of series: You don't try to find the answer...you try to find where the answer isn't. For example, if you know that every single term of a series is always less than the equivalent term of another series and you know that the second series reaches a maximum of X, then you know the original series cannot be greater than X. You still have no idea where the original series winds up. You just know that it cannot be greater than X. This is the Ordinary Comparison Test. Formally:

Suppose 0 <= an <= bn for n >= N.

1) If Sum(bn) converges, so does Sum(an)
2) If Sum(an) diverges, so does Sum(bn)

For example, does Sum{n/n[/i](n + 1)} converge or diverge? Well:

n/n[/i](n + 1) = (1/2)nn/(n + 1) < (1/2)n

Since Sum(1/2)n converges, we know that Sum{n/n[/i](n + 1)}. And because we know that Sum(1/2)n converges to 1, we know that Sum{n/n[/i](n + 1)} must converge to a value less than or equal to 1. We have no idea what it is, but we know what it is not.

Since we know where to find 1.5 million gay men and since we know that their location doesn't nearly come close to exhausting the pool of available gay men, we necessarily conclude that a result of only a million total (.7% of 150 million) is grossly underestimating the population of gay men in the country.


Rrhain
WWJD? JWRTFM!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by custard, posted 06-01-2004 1:29 AM custard has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by custard, posted 06-01-2004 4:23 AM Rrhain has responded

    
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 7 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 40 of 44 (113122)
06-07-2004 12:30 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by custard
06-01-2004 4:23 AM


Re: Yep
custard responds to me:

quote:
quote:
The 1993 March had a million.

Ok, cool. What do you base that number on? What the organizers reported?


Yes. As I said, we know how many were there because of the counts of unique visits made by the various vendors and organizers.

quote:
quote:
You are right that I do not know the exact proportion of gay people to non-gay people at the March. However, it is unreasonably conservative to claim that only half of them were.

Why is it unreasonably conservative to claim that?


(*blink!*)

You did not just say that, did you?

Do you seriously believe that more than half a million heterosexual people would travel across the country to attend a gay rights rally that was advertised primarily to gay people?

Do you seriously think that most of the people who go to Pride parades are straight?

I don't deny that there were straight people in the crowd. Even a significant number of them. But to say that half of them were is, to put it bluntly, ludicrous.

quote:
quote:
By the way...that same NORC study found that 40% of men had never masturbated. Does that sound likely to you?

Irrelevant.


Incorrect. It goes to the question of the validity of their methodology. If their method returns a result that is known to be wildly inaccurate, how likely is it that the method is going to return a valid result in another instance?

quote:
Because this number seems low to you does not mean that this is not the number NORC's study arrived at;

I am not denying that the number they arrived at was the number they arrived at.

I am denying the validity of that number. You do understand the difference, yes? If I say that 2 + 2 = 5, there is a difference between saying that I said the answer was 5 and saying that the answer of 5 is correct.

quote:
furthermore, whether that number is correct does not validate or invalidate the statistics regarding sexual preference.

(*blink!*)

You did not just say that, did you?

You use a method that produces wildly inaccurate results and you claim that it doesn't invalidate its use for other, similar measurements?

If I use an unmarked meterstick to measure a grain of sand and come up with a meter, don't you think I'd be silly to use it to measure a grain of rice?

Considering that masturbation isn't nearly as controversial an issue as homosexuality, don't you think that a survey that finds nigh on half of all men have NEVER masturbated would most likely be questionable about its concurrent finding that only 0.7% of men are gay?

quote:
quote:
It is unreasonable to think that a quarter of all gay men went to the March on Washington.

Why do you think that is unreasonable?


Because it would be the first time in history that a political rally had managed to draw that large of its constituency. Are you seriously saying that gay people are really that affluent that they could afford to spend the time off of work, the money to get there, the money to lodge, etc., etc.?

If so many gay people were so politically active that they were willing to do this, why the hell did it take until now to overturn sodomy laws? How the hell did DOMA get passed? What the hell happened that this swell of activism was suddenly snuffed out?

quote:
quote:
the claim of only 0.7% of the population of men in the US are gay necessarily cannot be true.

How can you possibly say this?


Because it does not fit with anything else that is known about the gay population.

I'm reminded of a class in American Studies I had as an undergrad where the professor showed a documentary regarding the images of women in music videos. He was trying to make a point regarding dehumanizing images of women and how it contributes to rape. At the end of the documentary, it rattled off a slew of statistics.

In our discussion, I pointed out that it was a shame, among other things, that the author of the film undermined his point by using contradictory statistics.

Specifically, it trotted out the old chestnuts that a woman is raped once every six minutes in this country and that one-third of all women will be raped.

Those two numbers don't relate.

At the time, there were about 250 million people in the country. One-third of women would be about 42 million women.

But once every six minutes is 10 every hour, 240 every day, just under 88,000 every year, or about 6.5 million over the course of a lifetime.

6.5 million is only about 5% of women, not one-third.

So which is it? And if someone is going to be throwing all these numbers around as if they're all true, what are we to think of them? Results need to fit in with all the other results that we have. If they are wildly at odds, then some sort of explanation needs to be forthcoming about why that is the case.

In another example, freshman chem lab at college. We had to create alum crystals from a square of aluminum. The point of the experiment was to calculate the yield. Most people doing this experiment will come up with a yield of something approaching one thousand percent. So the obvious question is: Why are you getting something that can't possibly be true? Part of the grade for the lab was how well you determined what caused your results to be so far off reality.

quote:
You seem to have real difficulty accpeting NORC's numbers. I think it is interesting to note that NORC cites over 12 other studies that are close to their results (page 10 of http://www.norc.uchicago.edu/online/sex.pdf). These other studies indicate that only 2-3% of men in the US and Europe actively engage in same gender sex (I have no idea if that means once a year, once every five years, etc.).

Um, finding results three to four times greater than what you found is not "close." It indicates that something is seriously wrong with your methodology and you need to go back and find out where you're tripping up.

That only goes to show the problems with the NORC study: Other people trying to replicate the results keep coming up with much larger numbers.


Rrhain
WWJD? JWRTFM!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by custard, posted 06-01-2004 4:23 AM custard has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 41 by Trae, posted 06-24-2004 8:26 AM Rrhain has not yet responded

    
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2019