Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Roe vs. Gay

Today's Best of the Web (title link) talks about how the Roe Effect (which I've discussed previously) may be affecting the nation's attitude toward homosexuality. Taranto utilizes a chart from Eugene Volokh to do this. I am going to combine my own analysis from last month with Volokh's and Taranto's and see what effect, if any, the Roe Effect has had on the nation's views regarding homosexuality.

According to the chart Volokh and Taranto cite, from 1973-2002 there was a distinct drop in the percentage of people who felt homosexuality was wrong. Among 60+ year olds, the drop was 21%; among those 45-59, 20%; and among those 30-44, 26%. This means an average drop of about 22% versus the previous generation among everyone 30 and above. For those between 18 and 29, however, just 8% less felt that homosexuality was always wrong. [I would also mostly discount the argument that as the percentage was already lower among that group, there was less room for the percentage to drop; the 30-44 group was the lowest of the other 3 groups yet experienced the largest drop.]

According to the statistics I cited last time, there were approximately 15,938,000 [US] abortions between 1973 and 1984, the same group of people who would be 18-29 in 2002. The number of births in that period of time was 40,993,325. This amounts to approximately 56,931,325 pregnancies (that were not miscarried et al). Of these, almost exactly 28% were aborted. Assuming as I did in the last post that 75% of these abortions were from the left, or liberal, side, (conservatives usually won't abort even if it's legal) this amounts to a 21:7 liberal to conservative abortion ratio. This should net a 14% difference on issues that 18-29 year olds would state their opinion on vs. what one would have otherwise expected.

The 14% difference between what one would expect 18-29 year olds to feel on homosexuality versus what they actually do directly correlates to the estimated difference in [those who would be] liberals and conservatives based on abortion patterns that resulted in the non-births of those who would be 18 to 29 years old. Or, in simpler terms, while the "sexual revolution" may have caused a 22% shift to the left on the issue of homosexuality, the Roe Effect has caused a 14% shift to the right on every issue, including homosexuality. This has led to an 8% net change among those between 18 and 29 years old on their views of homosexuality from one generation to the next.

While this is not yet the "wash" Taranto suggests, it is becoming extremely close. As years pass, the Roe Effect will continue to retard the growth of gay rights, among many other issues. Years from now, liberals may be punching themselves in the stomach about this one.


  1. But if there is a genetic component to homosexuality, then social acceptance of it will wash away the levee, so to speak, which has historically kept homosexuals in the closet and in the gene pool. Without social and legal pressures to marry, then the Roe effect among homosexuals will be swamped by the "gay acceptance" effect. Fertility among cohabiting homosexuals is infinitesimal.

  2. Granted. However, the social acceptance seems to be slowing; and there are many who will/are against homosexuality even if it is proved to have a genetic component on religious grounds (homosexuals should control their natural urges because it is wrong/immoral/against religion). Once social acceptance stalls, the Roe Effect (which won't stall unless Roe is overturned) will take a firm hold.

  3. It's late (early) so I may have missed something, but why do you assume that liberal parents (who had abortions) would have children who are liberals? In the 18-29 age range I suspect there are many young adults who are doing exactly the opposite of what they grew up with. Conservative parents often strugle with liberal kids in college. Conversely I have knows a few conservatives who grew up on a Kibbutz.

  4. Also if homosexuality is genetic, wholdn't it have been bred out of existance? It is only recently that gay couples are having kids. Sure there were gays in the past like Oscar Wilde who had families, but as a recessive gene, it would have been strugling for survival moreas much or more than an albino gene.

    Just my 2c worth...

  5. Wow, sorry, just saw these comments now.

    The assumption is that most people's children vote the same way as they do. Overall, this tends to be true; while there are obviously 'defections', they tend to be about equal on either side.

    Homosexuality is not genetic at all, I never argued that. You must have read a part wrong, but as I'm not sure what, I can't really correct it, sorry.

    Oh - perhaps this answers it: The post is on people's "views regarding" homosexual actions. The assumption is that liberals are for homosexuality, conservatives against.