Sex Survey Provides Data on Homosexuals

Article excerpt

Sex survey provides data on homosexuals

In 1970, the Kinsey Institute for Sex Research in Bloomington, Ind., directed a national study of fsexual behavior among 1,450 men and 1,568 women. Unlike virtually all other sex surveys, the Kinsey effort used a random sample whose responses could be generalized to the entire population.

After years of infighting among researchers involved in the project, the complete survey findings finally appear in the Jan. 20 SCIENCE. Data on male homosexual behavior may prove important in predicting the spread of AIDS, according to study coauthor Robert E. Fay of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., and his colleagues.

Roughly one-fifth of adult males in the 1970 survey had at least one homosexual experience, the researchers note. This is lower than the rate of 37 percent reported in 1949 by the pioneering sex researcher Alfred Kinsey, who interviewed mainly white, middle-class, college-educated men.

Of more interest to AIDS epidemiologists is the 1970 survey's finding that 3.3 percent of men had adult homosexual contacts either "fairly often" or "occasionally." That estimate rises to about 6.2 percent when those men who did not answer questions about homosexuality are statistically controlled for. …