Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Over-representation?

Seeing Chris Bryant MP (Mansfield College, Oxford) having a dig at someone else for their privilege is good comedy, of course.

But as an avowed homosexual in public life, he might do well to think twice about raising questions of under-representation of certain categories.

For it strikes me that the homosexual representation in many fields of our public life seems rather higher than their statistical distribution in the general population would suggest. In particular, I am thinking of  politics, the arts, the media, and higher education.

There are of course reasons for that. Politics is a natural home for people who want to change the system, and I understand why many homosexuals have sought to do that, and indeed they have had some resounding successes.

The other cases, arts, media and higher education, may be for a different reason. The air of liberal tolerance in such milieux is, I imagine, much more welcoming than in many other environments. Nonetheless, the cumulative impact of the over-representation of homosexuals in such places has a significant impact. At the simplest level, it is interesting that people typically over-estimate the numbers of homosexuals in society at large, by a very significant factor.  More worryingly, for those who don't buy into the Gay Agenda, these are places where much of the opinion-forming in our society occurs.

The predominance of homosexual, lesbian and other variants in our academic sociology departments' specialist Gender Theory research groups provides only one discourse when it comes to an intellectual framework for considering the morality of such variant lifestyles, or the reasons for the terrible prognosis for health and well-being of which they are, in fact, indicators. They also provided an intellectual fig-leaf for the politicians who (for reasons still unclear to me, though I suspect they included a futile attempt to de-toxify the Tory brand in the minds of their ideological enemies) pushed through laws that re-defined marriage in ways wholly outside the competence of parliament.

As it happens, I am not a great fan of numerical representation arguments, and still less of contrived solutions to them. My hope is that the system will provide its own correctives to these aberrations, as people without a personal interest in the issue recognise, for example, the need for more robust research into the reasons so many homosexuals kill themselves. 

On a wider level, I wonder if the opinion of the population at large will eventually swing back the other way, as revulsion at the excesses of the increasingly 'liberated' kicks in. It is a moot point: it seems relatively rare for societies to move from more to less permissive, and when they do it is not pleasant.

2 comments:

Charley Larkyns said...

Ah, and, of course, homosexuals are over represented in the Church, and particularly in the priesthood. I wonder if that is a good or a bad thing?

Patricius said...

"...the homosexual representation in many fields of our public life seems rather higher than their statistical distribution in the general population would suggest..."

I agree.I also have the strong suspicion- born of years of scanning the headlines of the gutter press and not withstanding the presses tendency to go after celebrities- that there is a greater incidence of fornication and adultery among those in public life than among the general population.