Thursday 21 September 2017

Brian Finnegan: Embracing new attitudes to sexuality in a changing society

Over the past 10 years of editing Ireland's gay community magazine 'GCN', I have been asked more times than I can count how many people in Ireland are gay.

The standard answer from many camps is 10pc, which would come to a figure of 458,900 for Ireland if it were true. This one-in-ten figure comes from the sex researcher Alfred Kinsey, who in 1948 wrote in his book 'Sexual Behaviour of the Human Male' that 10pc of males are more or less exclusively homosexual.

The percentage was taken up by the gay rights movement in the 1960s, who needed to prove a gay community existed, and that it was a sizeable enough community to 'matter', but not so large as to be overwhelming to the vast majority of Americans, who at the time were very uncomfortable with homosexuality.

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