ATLANTA (Christian Examiner) -- Mainstream culture depicts homosexuals as predominantly white and mostly male, educated with extra cash. But a recent survey conducted by Gallup pollsters dispels that image, finding lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders are less educated, less affluent, less white and more female than the rest of the U.S. population.
Overall, about 3.4 percent of those who took part in the 121,290 random phone interviews -- that made up Gallup's daily tracking survey during June 1 through September 30, 2012 -- said they were lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.
By comparison, the 2013 National Health Interview Survey performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 1.6 percent of 34,557 subjects identified as gay or lesbian and another 0.7 percent selected bisexual as their response. Among those surveyed, 0.2 percent chose "something else" as their reply, 0.4 percent checked "I don't know the answer" and 0.6 percent declined to answer the question.
Gallup's team explained that "measuring sexual orientation and gender identity can be challenging since these concepts involve complex social and cultural patterns." They also suggested "social stigma" might have caused some individuals not to be forthcoming about their sexual identity in the survey.
In the Gallup polls:
-- About a third (33 percent) of those who identified as LGBT were non-White compared to 27 percent of those who were not LGBT individuals.
-- Fifty-three percent of LGBT persons who took the survey were female.
-- Identification as LGBT was highest among those with the lowest levels of education, including the categories for high school or less and some college courses but no degree.
-- Likewise, LGBT identity was highest among the lowest income bracket, $24,000 per year.
Other studies show a growing acceptance of LGBT persons.
In fact, recent research suggests a slight majority of Americans, at least 53 percent, claim to be satisfied about the welcoming treatment of gays and lesbians in the United States—a cultural transition that has occurred gradually over the past decade.
Even more change was evident in attitudes about the moral acceptability of same-sex relations, where as many as 58 percent of the American public now readily display a tolerance of the issue.
Not surprisingly, younger Americans aged 18-29 are more likely to self-identify as LGBT than those over 65.