Let’s take a survey: Are Americans (a) really bad at estimating, (b) really gullible, (c) both really gullible and really bad at estimating? After seeing the results of this Gallup survey, I think the answer is obvious:
U.S. adults, on average, estimate that 25% of Americans are gay or lesbian. More specifically, over half of Americans (52%) estimate that at least one in five Americans are gay or lesbian, including 35% who estimate that more than one in four are. Thirty percent put the figure at less than 15%.
As the Gallup articles points out, demographer Gary Gates recently released a review of population-based surveys on the topic which found 1.7% of Americans identify as lesbian or gay and another 1.8% (mostly women) identify as bisexual. Yet, as economist Karl Smith notes, “most Americans believe that there are significantly more gays and lesbians than blacks (12.6%) or Hispanics (16.3%) and 35% of Americans believe there are as many or more gays than Catholics (~25%).”
Why do Americans think there are so many gays in the U.S.? Maybe they are basing their estimations on what they see on television.Read the rest.
The author goes on to suggest that there's a reason people think Christians represent a small part of the population.
Even though 76% of Americans identify as Christians I doubt you could find 90 openly Christian characters on all of television, much less on these 138 shows.Maybe.
But could there also be another good reason for these perceptions?
Why, for example, do people think so few Catholics live in America? Perhaps the prevailing opinion is not simply the result of Hollywood propaganda.
Perhaps poll numbers aren't all that surprising. Should you even be counted as "Catholic" if you fail to go to church, if you deny what Catholics believe and if you generally oppose what the Church stands for? Are you really still a "Catholic"?
If Catholics cease to practice their faith, should they still be counted as "Catholic"?
Just a thought.