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Government Study Says 3.4% of Adults Don’t Identify As Straight

By John Mack Freeman

The National Health Interview Survey was published this week. For the first time, it asked participants to identify their sexual preference (gender identity was not included in the survey). 1.6 percent of adults identified as gay or lesbian with .7 percent identifying as bisexual. Respondents who preferred not to say or did not find their sexuality listed among the options totaled another 1.1 percent. This is the first time in the history of the survey that sexual orientation has been included.

These numbers have caused a bit of consternation across gay media as they are lower than typically noted. For instance, the Williams Institute found 3.4 percent of the population to be LGBT with 4.4 percent not responding. Other estimates have ranged as high as 8 percent or as low as 1.5 percent, depending on the source. As with any results based on a sample population, there may be some errors in the final results.

The study also found that LGB individuals were more likely to smoke and drink heavily than their heterosexual counterparts, but LGB people were also more likely to get their recommended amount of daily exercise.

For the complete report, visit their website here.

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