Posted on | December 9, 2013 | 92 Comments
At the New York Times? All of them.
At Harvard University? All of them.
So when I read in the New York Times, “Seth Stephens-Davidowitz is a contributing opinion writer who recently received a Ph.D. in economics at Harvard,” I know where he’s coming from — a world in which homosexuality is so common as to seem pervasive.
No self-respecting heterosexual would set foot on the campus of Harvard University, much less write for the New York Times, and what perplexes Seth Stephens-Davidowitz is what’s going on in those “less tolerant” places where not everyone is gay (yet):
While these data sources all measure different degrees of openness, one result is strikingly similar: All three suggest that the openly gay population is dramatically higher in more tolerant states, defined using an estimate by Nate Silver of support for same-sex marriage. On Facebook, for example, about 1 percent of men in Mississippi who list a gender preference say that they are interested in men; in California, more than 3 percent do.
Are there really so many fewer gay men living in less tolerant states? There is no evidence that gay men would be less likely to be born in these states. Have many of them moved to more tolerant areas? Some have, but Facebook data show that mobility can explain only a small fraction of the difference in the totally out population. I searched gay and straight men by state of birth and state of current residence. (This information is available only for a subset of Facebook users.) Some gay men do move out of less tolerant states, but this effect is small. I estimate that the openly gay population would be about 0.1 percentage points higher in the least tolerant states if everyone stayed in place
The percent of male high school students who identify themselves as gay on Facebook is also much lower in less tolerant areas. . . .
Seth Stephens-Davidowitz‘s conclusion, basically, is that there are millions of closeted gay men — including teenage boys (oh, goodie!) — cowering in fear in “less tolerant” states like Mississippi. He doesn’t bother examining the obverse thesis: The New York Times and Harvard University invented homosexuality, which has since oozed out across the country in every direction, except in those places like Mississippi where the Gospel continues to be preached.
You don’t find many vampires near a garlic farm. Just sayin’ . . .