How many gay and lesbian people are there?

Submitted by admin on Wednesday, 7 December 2011 - 3:02am.

 It is impossible to estimate the number of gay and lesbian people in the community because of the difficulty of getting people to disclose in a society which is generally homophobic and discriminatory and because of the fluidity of all aspects of human sexuality. The Australian Study of Health and Relationships (Smith et al., 2003) which interviewed 20,000 people and is the largest study of this territory ever conducted in Australia, found that only 2% of the population identify as non-heterosexual. However, when a definition of sexuality which includes the three domains of identity, attraction and experience is used it found that up to 15% have experienced same sex attraction or have had had sexual contact with someone of the same sex (Smith et al., 2003).