Friday, September 19, 2014

Gay Stereotype

When I was in college, it was pretty readily observed that the arts had an unusually high percentage of gay men.  We thought the same probably applied to lesbians, though folks were less sure about that. Theories about this varied.  Some thought arts encouraged unmasculine behavior, others that people who were unusual in one way might well be unusual in another.

I tended to the view that there wasn’t anything automatic about this, and in a different culture the numbers might not be so.  If one were gay and had equal ability in both chemistry and design (or in business vs. drama), one would lean toward study and employment in the latter, because the social acceptance was greater there.  Also, those who had strong abilities in a field that was not accepting would simply be more quiet and circumspect about it, making their number appear smaller. I thought the phenomenon was therefore temporary.

Well, we have more data now. While music, dance, and sculpture are probably still more accepting of gays than other professions, the gap is much less dramatic. Yet had my theory been correct, we would have seen much more of a distribution at this point. There is some leveling, yet gays continue to be more prominent in the arts, and more comfortable making their livings there. Ability…lifestyle…association…byproduct of POV? Make your own guess.  It might be residual and on its way out, but I doubt it.  I can create theories why this might be – I imagine you can as well – but since I was wrong in 1974, I won’t venture a guess in 2014.


RonF said...

"We thought the same probably applied to lesbians, though folks were less sure about that."

I have some exposure to the performing arts with regards to classical music. Gays, yup. Lesbians, not so much. Why? I have no idea.

Hugh Lygon said...


It's that the fine arts are an immoral way to make a living and a total waste of time.

People who are immoral in one way will be immoral in other ways.

Jonathan said...

"total waste of time" - subjective stance, so totally your call if you don't enjoy it, chap.

"the fine arts are an immoral way to make a living" - in what way does the earning of a paycheck in the fine arts fail to conform to standards of morality, old chum?

ymarsakar said...

The Greeks had several units of homosexual warriors.

Social acceptance is the primary issue.

Since the Left likes to control homosexual sects, their culture will be a Leftist culture more times than not.