Statistics Stranger Than Truth

“Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable.”

Mark Twain

As reported in the Belfast Telegraph, on April 30, 2015, ‘Statistics used on LGBT have been distorted’!

“Discriminated Against” (Write Back, April 27) is right that, even if Stella Wilson’s statistics on the numbers of LGBT people were correct (Write Back, April 23), her lower figures are no reason to discriminate.

But her figures are not correct, making her doubly wrong. (She knows this, because I explained it to her in February.)

The numbers are from surveys in which 2.4%-2.7% of the 16-to-24 age group reported being LGBT, but only 0.5% of the over-65s.

This does not mean that young gay people are turning straight – against all scientific evidence – rather it indicates that older generations, who grew up in less-liberal times, are unlikely to admit to being gay to a stranger conducting a survey. So all we are seeing is under-reporting in older age groups.

Sexual orientation and identity (they are not the same thing) are fixed for the overwhelming majority of people, of any age.

Stella Wilson is deliberately misinterpreting data to make it fit her agenda.


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