August 28, 2014

Jews over-represented among gay Congress members

According to this list, there are 16 members of Congress who were "out" while in office. All served in the House of Representatives, although one also served in the Senate. Of these 16, 4 are Jews (25%), including the only Senator (Frank and Polis are full, Cicilline is half, and Baldwin is a quarter).

During the time period that the gay ones have served -- the 1970s through today -- Jews have made up between 5-10% of the House. They are therefore 2 or 3 times over-represented among those members of Congress who are gay.

Or at least those who are openly gay -- we'd need a more exhaustive and reliable list of who was in the closet, and check them by ethnic background. Being 2-to-3 times over-represented doesn't seem like it'll go away even if Jews were less likely to be in the closet, and we counted both closeted and open homos. At any rate, they'd still be more likely to be open about it, i.e. to make it one of the issues on their agenda.

Related post: Jews are more than twice as likely to be gay, though equally likely to be lesbian.

5 comments:

  1. does Jewish prominence cycle with inequality? gay rights certainly seem to..

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  2. I've been putting together a little database on Jewish holders of American political office, and will be posting about the changes by time period and across geography next week.

    But yes, they do exercise more power when (and where) there's a rise in status-striving, rootlessness, hedonism, and inequality.

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  3. Another point to make is that, whereas we've been inculcated to believe that minorities are disadvantaged - here we have a distinctly marginal group, homosexual Jews, who are disproportionately represented in our highest political body.

    It's odd. It'd be as if blacks were overly represented in Congress prior to the civil rights era.

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  4. In the GSS, there's a variable, the stupidly named SexSex18, that helps sift out gays from others (as persons of male sex, who've only had sex with males past the age of 13).

    If you cross reference this by college major, the gays are stereotypically overrepresented in theatre studies, nursing and administration.

    Seems like the smart gays do political / administration degrees disproportionately, and the Jew gays are disproportionately the smart gays.

    I'd expect Jewish political power to rise with inequality as credentialism in leaders rises over populism, as is common in rising inequality times. Jews are smart, not populist (or popular). On the other hand, there are intellectualized, cosmopolitan forms of anti-inequality movements that took power and crashed inequality, and they're prominent there as well (Russian Communism).

    OT: Guatemalan indigenous highlanders (not pastoralists exactly though) booting out the Jewish equivalent of the South German Amish (minus generations of selection for being pleasant and conventional farmers) - http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/members-jewish-sect-leave-guatemala-village-25185946. Mercantile minority bullshit like "members of the Lev Tahor community would go into stores and pay whatever they wanted for the products rather than the marked price" seems to be one among many reasons for this.

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  5. I think Jews are overrepresented in the homosexual population, period.

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