gmonkey42: Spock looking like "WTF?" (douchebaggery)
[personal profile] gmonkey42
As seen on Feministing: a survey by Stonewall.org has been erroneously interpreted to show that the average age at which gay people in Britain come out has fallen by more than 20 years. From the linked page:

The poll, which had 1,536 respondents, found that lesbian, gay and bisexual people aged 60 and over came out at 37 on average. People aged 18 and under are coming out at 15 on average.

Which would be fine EXCEPT there's a huge bias in their sampling: people who are closeted or haven't yet figured out that they're gay are not going to respond to the survey! Therefore people who respond to this survey and are under 18 are guaranteed to have come out at an age below 18! If someone who's not out did take the survey, they would just have to say "I'm not out yet." Which is not a number, you can't use that to calculate the average. It doesn't say how they handled that but I wouldn't be surprised if they just threw out those answers, or never got any of them in the first place. Which makes the entire study worthless.

I believe that the average age has decreased, that as a result of greater public acceptance, people don't have to wait as long and can recognize that they're gay at a younger age. But this survey didn't prove that.
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