English Articles

Sexuality and gender: here are
the UK and US statistics

The issue of gender identity is being debated not only in Canada, but also in Europe and the United States. In this regard, we publish an article by James Hansen. It references some English and US data.
James Hansen is a former diplomat and journalist. After entering the American Foreign Service, he was posted to the American Consulate General in Naples.  He remained in Italy as a newspaper correspondent for the International Herald Tribune and the the London Daily Telegraph as well as acting as ‘European Editor’ of the British scientific weekly New Scientist.. He later became chief spokesman for some Italy’s best known business figures, including Carlo De Benedetti and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, before being named chief of press of Telecom Italia. He has edited the geopolitical review East and publishes the influential foreign affairs weekly Nota Diplomatica. His articles, primarily about geopolitics and international relations, appear regularly in the Italian press.
If it bleeds… — One of the unwritten rules of Anglo-Saxon popular journalism is: “If it bleeds, it leads”; if the fact ‘bleeds’—if it ‘shocks’ or strongly stimulates curiosity—then it takes precedence; it’s headline news. However, the limits of human sensitivity are changing and constantly evolving. Each theme, however striking, has a sort of ‘expiration date’ by which it must be consumed, before it dies from overexposure. When the outlines of a fact stabilize, by definition it is no longer a ‘novelty’; it no longer bleeds from the front page.
This is what seems to be happening to one of the big questions of recent years: the much-debated topic of gender, or sexual identity. We begin to know a little too much to be dazzled by the ‘discovery’ that people have so many ways to live out their erotic urges. What has changed in our recent past is not a general collapse of conventional morality, but rather a sort of political-social fashion to give names to sexual attestations and practices that were not previously discussed in mixed company.

Ideologically, it’s as if the conceptual appeal was to save Sodom and Gomorrah from divine destruction—only to arrive at the time when the two biblical cities weren’t destroyed, but are still here with us…What is beginning to emerge, even through data that is finally somewhat serious, is that not much has changed, that human beings are still human beings… In the United Kingdom, the Office of National Statistics—the British equivalent of Italy’s Istat—recently released data taken from the latest national census which show that about 0.5% – one individual in two hundred – of the adult population of England and Wales self-identifies as transgender. To the question: “Do you still identify with the same gender registered at birth?”, 45.4 million of respondents said “yes” and just over a quarter of a million (262,000) answered “no”.

The result is consistent with the American data collected by Pew Research according to which only 0.6% of US adults claim to recognize themselves in a sexual identity other than that ascribed at birth, while about 1% more generally claim to be ‘ non-binary’ in sexual tastes—an elegant way of saying ‘whatever happens…’

These are numbers that demonstrate more than anything else how uncommon these phenomena are in fact among the population and, even more simply, how people continue to be—as they have always been—different from each other.

Compared to the past, it seems that people are simply more willing than in the past to talk about it. Perhaps what the ‘Gender Revolution‘ represents is not so much a novelty on human sexuality—which always appears as it is—but a lesson in the conduct of modern mass communication.

Nota Diplomatica is supported by: iCorporate, MSC Cruises, Class Editori and Telecom Italia Sparkle

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