Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gay and Lesbian or Homosexual? What's in a Word?

In a New York Times/CBS poll researching how Americans felt about the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy in the US military, citizens were asked how they felt about homosexuals serving in the army. Citizens were also asked how they felt about gay men and lesbians serving in the army. The results are as follows:

Should homosexuals serve in the US army? 2010Should gay men and lesbians serve in the US army? 2010Should homosexuals or gay men and lesbians serve in the US army?
Strongly support34%51%42%
Somewhat support15%19%
Somewhat oppose10%7%57%
Strongly oppose19%12%

As we can see, attitudes have changed for the better since 1993, but there is a marked difference between the numbers of supporters when the words 'lesbian' and 'gay' are used, as opposed to the word 'homosexual'.

When those surveyed were broken down into sub-categories, these were the results of those who were supportive.

All womenAll under 30All who have a gay friend or relation (sic)SeniorsAll who don’t know any gays (sic)All men

People who support gay men and lesbians in the military


This shows that women are much more accepting of LGB people than men. It also shows that younger people are more accepting than older people. It demonstrates further that people are more afraid of what (or whom) they don't know.

Finally, it suggests that young women - lesbian and straight - are a gay man's best friend.

Hands up if you're an advocate of equalities and you didn't know all this already!

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