Jews more than twice as likely to be gay, as likely to be lesbian
Is homo and bisexuality another example of deviance that Jews are more likely to indulge in? They seem to be over-represented among all sorts of out-there groups.
The General Social Survey asks whether your sex partners have been male, female, or both. I restricted respondents to whites who had at least 1 year of college education (since queerness goes up with education), and who lived in an urban environment, where queers tend to concentrate, not suburban or rural. That controls for the major demographic differences between homos and normals.
Respondents were then broken down by their professed religion -- Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and None (not necessarily atheists). Differences across groups in bi and homosexuality were the same, so I just collapsed them into a single non-heterosexual category.
Percent non-heterosexual (Males, Females) ...
Based on partners from past year:
Cath: 4, 3
Prot: 4, 3
Jew: 11, 3
None: 8, 9
Based on partners from past 5 years:
Cath: 4, 4
Prot: 4, 4
Jew: 9, 4
None: 8, 10
The rates for Christians are just what you see in the overall population -- between 3 and 5 percent. Among Jews, however, fully 10% are gay. I vaguely suspected it would be higher, but that's still amazing. The None-religionists are twice as likely as Christians to be gay, though still a bit below the Jews.
The incredibly high rate of Jewish queerness cannot be explained, therefore, by pointing to their more secular or liberal tendencies. Even if all Jews were secular-liberal and all of the None group were non-Jewish in ethnicity, there'd still be a gap. The Christian groups are four times the size of the None group, so even pretending all of the Nones were Gentiles, and weighting the three Gentile groups, there'd still be a large gap between them and Jews.
Strangely, though, Jews are just like the two Christian groups for rates of lesbianism and female bisexuality. For females, it's having no professed religion that makes them 2 to 3 times more likely to be with women. This would seem to argue against the higher rate of gays among Jews being due to some cultural laxity -- that should allow Jewish women to act more deviant as well.
If being queer is caused by some Gay Germ (in Greg Cochran's phrase), it's hard to believe that the Jewish vs. Gentile chasm in gay rates is due to different genetic susceptibilities. I checked for race differences in queerness, limiting it to urban-dwellers with at least a year of college, and there were none in comparing whites, blacks, and "other". If major racial groups are equally susceptible to the infection, it's hard to imagine that Jews would be so much more susceptible than other Caucasian groups.
Perhaps some combination of their different rituals performed on boys early in life (not just circumcision) make the difference in susceptibility to the infection. That would be analogous to the Fore tribe of Papua New Guinea, who contracted a neurological disease, Kuru, by eating the infected brains of the deceased during a funeral ritual. Different cultural practices can make some groups more at-risk for infectious diseases.
This would also explain why Jewish females are no more likely to be bi or lesbian -- circumcision, etc., do not affect them. Or maybe having a castrating Jewish mother is more likely to push a son over the edge and snap, while having little effect on the daughter.
Well, who knows what the source of the difference is, but there it is -- 1 out of 10 Jewish urban-dwellers with at least some college education are gay. Among their Christian counterparts, it's 1 in 25. One obvious implication is that Jews, even aside from their secular liberal tendencies, will tend to favor gay agenda policies, since they're more likely to know some from their own group. "My son, the cocksucker, deserves better health care than what you goy bigots are providing."
GSS variables used: sexsex, sexsex5, relig, race, educ, srcbelt, sex