What “Causes” Homosexuality/Part 3

By: Dr. John Ankerberg; ©2003
Is it really true that 10% of the population is homosexual? If not, how did this figure get ingrained in our society? Can homosexuals change?

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V. The Myth That 10% of the Population Are Homosexual

The Kinsey Institute’s statistic that 10% of the American population are homosexual is false. It was based on faulty research. More recent scientific studies have consistently shown that less than 1 up to just under 2 percent of the male population are exclusively homosexual. For example, according to USA Today of April 15, 1993:

The notion that 10% of men are gay—born in the studies of Alfred Kinsey and popularized by activists—is dying under the weight of new studies. In the latest, only 2.3% of U.S. men ages 20 to 39 say they’ve had a same-sex experience in the past decade. Only 1.1% say they have been exclusively gay.

The survey of 3,321 men is published today in the Alan Guttmacher Institute journal… the findings are similar to other recent studies:

A 1989 U.S. survey estimated no more than 6% of adults had any same-sex experiences and less than 1% were exclusively homosexual.

A 1992 French study found 4% of men and 3% of women reported same-sex contacts; 1.4% of men and 0.4% of women said any occurred in the previous five years. (Emphasis added)

The Wall Street Journal for March 31, 1993 revealed:

…the one-in-ten figure is routinely cited in academic works, sex education materials, government reports and the media…. But there long has been much evidence that the 10% estimate is far too high. Surveys with large samples from the U.S., Canada, Britain, France, Norway, Denmark and other nations give a picture of homosexuality experience rates of 6% or less, with an exclusive homosexuality prevalence of 1% or less.

The most comprehensive example is the continuing survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau since 1988 for the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control…. the data strongly suggest that the prevalence of even incidental homosexual behavior is less than 2% for men…. a general population estimate for homosexuality would fall below 1.5%….

The Wall Street Journal points out that Paul and Kirk Cameron have written a study, “The Prevalence of Homosexuality,” (Psychological Reports, in press). It summarizes over 30 surveys around the world with large, plausibly unbiased samples.

  • France: A government survey of 20,055 adults (1991-92) revealed 1.4% of men and 0.4% of women had had homosexual intercourse in the five years preceding the survey. Exclusive lifetime homosexual rates were 0.7% for men and 0.6% for women while lifetime homosexuality experience was 4.1% for men and 2.6% for women.
  • Britain: only 1.4% of men had had homosexual contact in the previous five years….
  • United States: A nationwide household sample of 1,537 adults conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago (1989) indicated that of sexually active adults 19 years of age and older, 1.2% of males and 1.2% of females claimed homosexual activity in the preceding year. Only 0.5% to 0.7% had exclusively homosexual partners.
  • United States: A stratified cluster sample from the Minnesota Adolescent Health Survey (1986-87) of 36,741 public school students (grades 7-12) showed that only 0.6% of the boys and 0.2% of the girls identified themselves as “mostly or 100% homosexual”; 0.7% of the boys and 0.8% of the girls identified themselves as “bisexual”; and 10.1% of males and 11.3% of females were “unsure.”
  • Canada: 5,514 first-year college students under age 25 were part of nationwide cluster random sample. This revealed 98% were heterosexual, 1% bisexual, 1% homosexual.
  • Norway: A nationwide random mail sample of 6,155 adults age 18-60 (1987) found that 0.9% of males and 0.9% of females had homosexual experiences within three years of the survey.

VI. Why Do Current Statistics Concerning the Number of Homosexuals so Drastically Disagree with Kinsey’s 10% Figure?

1)His samples were far from representative of the general population.

About 25% of Kinsey’s 5300 male subjects were former or present prisoners; a high percentage were sex offenders (he had the histories of about 1400).

Many respondents were recruited by Kinsey from sex lectures where they had gone to get the answer to sex problems. Other respondents were recruited by underworld figures and leaders of homosexual groups….[1]

2)Kinsey never said that 10% of the population were homosexuals.

What he stated was that 10% of men over age 16 engage in homosexual relationships exclusively for periods lasting only up to three years.[2] Current statistics show that he was in error even with these figures.

VII. Can Homosexuals Change?

If it can be shown that practicing lifetime homosexuals do change their sexual orientation, this is a devastating blow to the homosexual movement. This is what research reveals:

  • Schwartz and Masters (of the 1984 Masters and Johnson’s Institute Report) re-vealed a 79.9% success rate of homosexuals changing their sexual orientation to heterosexuality. Their five-year follow-up rate was an impressive 71.6%.[3]
  • Dr. van den Aardweg (1986) reported a 65% success rate.[4]
  • Joe Dallas, President of Exodus International, noted the following:
The fact remains that there are many people who are homosexual and are dissatisfied with their orientation and for those people who want to change, help is available. Now, that is not just one man’s opinion here. We know that from the writings of Masters and Johnson, Charles Socarides, Irving Bieber, Dr. Elizabeth Moberly, Dr. Joseph Nicolosi. Dr. Lawrence Hatterer, just to name a few.[5]
  • Dr. Nicolosi stated:
I have worked with about 175 men to date and I can say in terms of claims of cure that when the men stay with me, in a matter of months they begin to experience change in their life.[6]


About half as many people are ex-gays as [are] possessed by the homosexual habit. Many exhomosexuals are involved in Homosexuals Anonymous or the host of other programs that work to cure homosexuality. Just like Alcoholics Anonymous, not everyone who attends these programs is cured. As with alcoholism, it is essential that once stopped the habit never be fed, and there are those who regress. Abandoning homosexual habits, like quitting drinking, can be done and is done by tens of thousands each year. Breaking homosexual habits without the assistance of religious involvement is more problematic, but even conventional psychotherapy claims about a 30% cure rate.[7]

If many different researchers over the years have seen thousands of homosexuals change to heterosexuality and if this has been personally attested to by the homosexuals themselves and their spouses, on what basis can any individual claim that homosexuals can never change?

According to the Guttmacher Institute no more than 6% of adults had any same sex experiences. In addition, less than 1% of adults were exclusively homosexual. What this means is that 5% of adults with previous same sex experiences were no longer homosexual. Isn’t it significant that 5% of those who have tried homosexuality are now ex-homosexuals? In other words, this means there are actually more ex-homosexuals than there are homosexuals.

In the 1983 Family Research Institute survey of 4,340 adults:

  • 82% of those currently lesbian and 66% of those currently gay said that they had been in love with someone of the opposite sex,
  • 67% of lesbians and 54% of gays reported current sexual attractions to the opposite sex,
  • 85% of lesbians and 54% of gays, as adults, had sexual relations with someone of the opposite sex.

It would thus seem there are more people who have tried and left homosexuality than those who remain homosexuals.[8]

Irving Bieber asserts, “We have followed some patients for as long as 10 years who have remained exclusively heterosexual.”[9] Describing two books he has edited, Fantasy, Reality and the Creative Arts and The Homosexualities in the Therapeutic Process, Dr. Socarides observes, “These two books contain the work of over 30 psychoanalysis—eminent teachers and psychoanalysis and medical men throughout this country—and they all attest to the fact that homosexuality is a psychopathological condition that can be altered if someone knows how to alter it.”[10]

In conclusion, no one can deny that the claims for biological determinism and a 10% incidence of homosexuality have a great deal of political significance because they have been used to “justify” an entire civil rights movement. Unfortunately, these myths have fueled a social agenda that has not been in the best interests of our nation.


  1. As reported in The Wall Street Journal, 31 March 1993. See also Judith A. Reisman, Edward W Eichel, et. al., Kinsey, Sex and Fraud: The Indoctrination of a People (Lafayette, LA: Huntington House, 1990).
  2. The Wall Street Journal, ibid.; cf. “Homosexuality: The 10% Lie,” Family Research Report, May-June 1992 and recent materials from the Family Research Institute.
  3. Douglas A. Houck, “Case Study Analysis of Homosexual to Heterosexual Transformation With Overview of the Moberly Model” (Seattle, WA: Metanoya Ministries, 1988) in Cohen, Perpetuating Homosexual Myths, p. 9.
  4. Cohen, p. 9.
  5. Joe Dallas, taped Interview for “The John Ankerberg Show.”
  6. Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, taped Interview for “The John Ankerberg Show.”
  7. Family Research Institute, What Causes Homosexuality and Can It Be Cured? (Washington, DC: Family Research Institute), p. 5.
  8. Family Research Institute, Can “Homosexuals Change?”
  9. In Joe Dallas, Desires in Conflict: Answering the Struggle for Sexual Identity (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1991), p. 116.
  10. Dr. Charles Socarides, taped Interview for “The John Ankerberg Show.”

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