Jason Malloy has looked into the U.S. General Social Survey for rates of homosexuality by national origin and by gender. Not surprisingly, he found that different national origins have different rates of homosexuality, given their different levels of sexual permissiveness. Surprisingly, however, there is an apparent inverse correlation between male and female homosexuality. If sexual permissiveness were the causal factor, shouldn’t it increase the numbers of both gays and lesbians? Perhaps not to the same extent, but the effect should at least be in the same positive direction.This finding is in line with the one discussed in the last post. Although female homosexuality is becoming more common among younger age cohorts, these same cohorts show a stable or even decreasing rate of male homosexuality.
Again, what is going on? When cultural constraints are weak or absent, it may be that the upper limit for expression of homosexuality is higher in females than in males. But that in itself wouldn’t produce an inverse correlation. Perhaps different national groups, for reasons of genetics or family environment (e.g., diet, early childhood upbringing), have different susceptibilities to male and female homosexuality. For instance, Chinese Americans may be highly susceptible to male homosexuality but only weakly susceptible to female homosexuality. This particular finding might be related to the community’s higher birth ratio of males to females and its corresponding wife shortage. Yet that kind of explanation still rings a bit hollow.