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LGB Identifier in National Election Studies

- May 25, 2009

The 2008 American National Election Studies asks respondents about sexual orientation. This is apparently a first for the ANES. The question was:

bq. Do you consider yourself to be heterosexual or straight, homosexual or gay (or lesbian), or bisexual?

Although the ANES is administered face-to-face, this question was included in a section of the interview where respondents put on headphones, listened to questions via an audio tape, and answered them on a laptop — out of view of the interviewer.

Among all respondents: 94% identified as heterosexual, 3% as homosexual, and 3% as bisexual. About 1% did not answer the question.

The numbers among men and women are similar. Among men, 95% identified as heterosexual, 3% as homosexual, and 1% as bisexual. Among women, 93% identified as heterosexual, 3% as homosexual, and 3% as bisexual.

For those of you who are ANES users, the variable is v083209.

[Hat tip to Pat Egan, who has written extensively on the political opinions of gays and lesbians.]