survey says

70% of Gay Christian College Students Knew They Were Gay By Age 13


And 71 percent acknowledged “confusion” over same-sex sexual attraction by age 14-15. That’s according to the study “Listening to Sexual Minorities on Christian College Campuses”, conducted by researchers Mark Yarhouse, Stephen Stratton, Janet Dean, and Heather Brooke, had 104 “sexual minority” students at three schools within the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities complete anonymous surveys about their sexual desires. (Alas, it’s unclear what researchers used to define a “sexual minority,” but we believe it’s safe to assume it means all things LGBT.)

Among the other revelations, notes the Regent University’s Institute for the Study of Sexual Indentity:

Intimately/romantically kissed by someone of the same sex (age 17 by 34% of the sample)
Been fondled by someone of the same sex (age 14-15 by 42% of the sample)
Fondled someone of the same sex (age 14-15 by 42% of the sample)
Same-sex behavior to orgasm (age 16-17 by 29% of the sample)
Initial attribution that I am gay (age 17 by 35% of the sample)
Took on the label of gay (age 18 by 14% of the sample)
First same-sex relationship (age 18-19 by 19% of the sample)
First opposite-sex relationship (age 15 by 58% of the sample)

Yes, but at what age did they star in their first porn flick?

Hmmm. We’re actually not sure if this data (of, to be sure, only 104 students) only confirms some preconceived notions or blows our mind. If you wouldn’t mind, tell us how you compare to these lab rats — and let us know if you fall into the similar “gay AND Christian OR college student” demographic.

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  • Bri

    Not surprising at all. I’m gay and of college age(18) and I first came out when I was 12. Not Christian, however…

  • schlukitz

    By the time I reached first grade, I knew that I liked boys better than I did girls.

    It’s not rocket science. LOL

  • Tommy

    This makes me feel like a big loser. I didn’t discover that I was gay until I was 30!

  • schlukitz


    You didn’t just “discover” that you were gay until you turned 30…

    You were in total denial! ;o)

    Sadly, yours is not an uncommon story among gays from religious backgrounds.

  • Andrew

    I apply to all of the above (gay, Christian, college student), and I would say I knew I was gay by seventh grade (I’m 22 now).

    I didn’t come out until 18, though, partly because I went to a boarding school for Christian students. I’m now at a public, non-religious college, and totally out.

    I will say that there is a significant group on my college campus called Campus Crusade for Christ (otherwise known as Closet Cases for Christ). I’m not surprised at the data at all; what would surprise me is data showing that the students were public about it.

  • tjr101

    Wow… did someone say 30? I haven’t reached that age yet but I knew since 11 years old. At that age my friends started looking at the girls and I just wasn’t interested.

    What’s interesting is the 58% who had an opposite sex relationship at age 15, that goes to show the pressure on a gay teenager to stay in the closet and conform with what’s considered normal.

  • Phoenix (Maggie Gallagher's Worst Nightmare Come True)

    They know they’re gay at the same rates as non-religious fundie kids but they’re closet cases in fake relationships with opposite sex boy/girl-friends. How sad. They’re all going to be Larry Craigs and Ted Haggards.

  • Ex Fundamentalist

    #7: You know, it’s condescending statements like that that feed into all the negative stereotypes of gays that got crammed down my throat when I was “confused” and at a fundamentalist Bible college, and then in seminary. I and everyone I know who has gone through something similar (not that uncommon, surprise surprise) can tell you what an awful, miserable experience the whole process can be. I’m out, in a stable relationship, happy, and an agnostic these days, but I remember what it was like to be totally hopeless. And I know kids who didn’t make it out of that situation and instead took their own lives.

    So be a little more of an asshole the next time, why don’t ya? Have some sympathy.

  • Lloyd Baltazar

    I knew I was gay as early as I was 9. It was not sexual attraction YET but it was heavy emotional admiration towards guys. As puberty started, sexual urges came on. It was pretty early, but yeah.

    I come from Roman Catholic faith. One of the “sacred” Roman Catholic families thats heavily loyal to the Pope and the Church.

    and NO, I was NEVER abused or molested by Priests. Sorry to dissapoint you.

  • Qjersey

    Thanks for the diss at progressive scientists. People who participate in surveys are not lab rats, they are not experimented on. Guess our editor didn’t take Psych 101 in college. Now the people on reality shows, particularly Big Brother are lab rats for our entertainment.

  • Phoenix (Peter LaBarbera Doesn't Like Me Either)

    @ 8, I’m not being condescending.

    First same-sex relationship (age 18-19 by 19% of the sample)
    First opposite-sex relationship (age 15 by 58% of the sample)
    Same-sex behavior to orgasm (age 16-17 by 29% of the sample)

    Dude, they knew they were gay by age 13 years old and yet most of them are or were in a opposite-sex relationship. They already are teenage closet cases with beards. Less than 1/5 had a same-sex relationship by time they were adults, but nearly a third of them has had sex with a member of the same sex. That’s not a stereotype, those are facts. Fundamental Christians are becoming more intolerant and narrow-minded with every passing day, which means there are going to be more closeted, unhappy kids dating/marrying beards and getting laid on the down-low.

  • Shae

    I knew i was gay in grade school…however old that is i do not know lol but now im in college and 19.

  • Frunced

    @Ex Fundamentalist: I don’t think the comment was meant to be hurtful. Yes, some of us went through hell and we consider being out a gift and a struggle, but Phoenix makes sense… who even knows how many closet cases there are out there with no hope of ever coming to terms? It is sad.

  • Frunced

    Oh, and I went to Catholic School for 12 years. I liked boys since kindergarten, but didn’t realise I also wanted to have sex with them until the seventh grade and from then on, it became a journey of self-hate and attempts to pray the gay away/slit my wrists for about 6 long-ass, miserable years.

    And I had a girlfriend I never touched, as well.

  • M Shane

    I’m glad to hear that some of those people had sexual or affectional experiences.They don’t say anything about having sexual feelings, which would be more significant.
    I was literally tortured by sexual feelings from the time I was at least 7. Since there was no sexual information available–my community was a very conservative midwestern town–I didn’t even have a name for myself until I was a Senior in H.S. I heard from a counselor later that girls would get pregnant and most often not know how it happened.

  • Greg Theron

    Whats this models name again? I forgot.

  • terrwill

    Percent of Gay Christian Teens who have their heads fucked up by phony, self hating gay Parents, Teachers, Pastors, and Political figures who are hyprocites when it comes to anyting even remotely having to do with the word Gay: 100%

  • AlanInSLC

    I was fondeling boys and getting naked with all my friends at age 4. I knew I liked boys way early. I use to “experiment” with friends calling it “temptations” and getting exactly what I wanted. I was a devious little one. :) I had my first relationship with another guy at 17. Came out the same time. I waited til I graduated from high school, since I live in VERY Mormon Utah. It was just easier to not have to deal with the abuse in school.

  • Kurt

    Contrary to is name, the survey did not study students at Christian colleges but at Protestant colleges. Gays have a lot more fun at Notre Dame and Georgetown!

  • luck


  • Delayne

    I went to high school with a kid who went on to a Christian College. None of us were surprised when he came out (not sure what age he figured it out), but I was always surprised he went to a Christian College… I thought it might have helped that the college he went to was in a hippy liberal town, but according to this study (only 104?) I might be wrong.

  • Baylor Gay

    I’m in the demographic. Went to Baylor University (who is vehemently anti-LGBT). First experience at 15. By the time I finished at Baylor, it was in the hundreds. There’s a ton of gay kids at that “christian” school.

  • College student

    This article has nothing to do with how many of those have been abused or what happened to these college students in the Past. I go to a Christian college and I am 23 and i am going online. However I have had same sex attraction and struggle with them because I was sexually abused. How many of these 70% struggle in the same way because of something that has happened in the past. Its more then just being born gay. I don’t think anybody is born gay.

  • Michael

    70% seems low to me.

  • BillCooney

    Dear No. 23, please explain how you can consider being gay a “choice”? I’ve always been sexually attracted to males since I was 10 years old. At 13, I discovered masturbation and could barely keep my hands off myself. Showering after gym was the most erotic experience I could imagine. Finally, at 16 I had my first solo encounter and realized that I was not alone in this tiny town. When I turned 18, I was able to find my first “gay bar” and didn’t look back. This is a lifestyle that gave me pleasure and affirmation. I’m now 64 and have never had a day of regret. Living in New York City and then, San Francisco, I was able to be openly gay in cities that are more accepting of anyone’s lifestyle.

  • notreallyhere247

    I didn’t really start getting attracted to guys until High School. but I did have an interest/curiosity about them before that. I had an interest/curiosity about women too but mostly I was curious about why I wasn’t attracted to them like all my male friends were. After too many years of confusion/denial I finally “came in” when I was 24 and started slowly coming out about a month later. I’m 26 now and my close personal friends know as well as some of my family. I am a christian and I do think that had something to do with me staying in the closet for so long. But my parents, who are pretty religious, were very accepting and understanding when I told them. And I use the term “Christian” for myself very loosely defined as “someone who believes in God and believe that Jesus died for our sins…period” I don’t go along with everything that Christians are supposedly supposed to go along with. I believe for myself but I don’t consider myself a very religious person and i don’t push my beliefs on others. Also, I don’t believe every detail of the bible because while some lessons in it still hold true, much of it is simply outdated.

  • Samuel Robles

    “Alas, it’s unclear what researchers used to define a “sexual minority,” but we believe it’s safe to assume it means all things LGBT”

    No it’s not unclear, you moron. It is clear from the text of each question set out in the survey. And “transgendered” is not a sexual minority. It is a gender minority whose members can have any kind of sexual orientation. That is why it is ridiculous and offensive to lump gay men and lesbians with transgendereds, as affluent, white privileged “queer” academics did when they imposed LGBT on all of us. And it is ridiculous and offensive not just to gays, but to trans people as well.

    Even more offensive is a blog that takes as its name a slur that undoubtedly rang in the ears of Billy Lucas and Asher Brown in the months, weeks and days before they killed themselves. Oh, and shame on you for putting up an unrelated pic of a shirtless man on this page, as if gay people can’t read a post about a study without seeing some skin.

  • Alex

    I went to a christian high school where a good 60% of the graduates went to christian colleges. I actually considered going to grove city college (it was the best college that i got into) but i realized that i would be miserable and nixed the idea.

  • Teluride

    @ex-fundamentalist. I AGREE with you. There is venom in Pheonix’ statements. He could have framed it a differnt way, albeit many don’t get the struggle gay Christians go through. Many think you’re losers and turncoats, exgay movement and all. Totally not true. I think you guys definitely have an extra pile of dung to deal with, considering. Really glad to see you made it out alive and well. Now we must help others.

  • t

    I came out at 15, but definitely had some (then unidentifiable) feelings/interest in boys as early as 8 or 9. My first specific crush was probably when I was 11, though I struggled with my feelings for several years more. No real sexual activity till I was 16, in my first gay relationship. My first hetero relationships were very innocent, at 8 and 12. Very short lived.

  • t

    Oh, and just remembered, I did have a bit of a make out session with a girl at 14. After which I decided I was officially “undecided.” (And uninterested in the girl- I couldn’t kiss her on the mouth!) As I said, I didn’t come out till a year later.

  • tallskin2

    Good Grief, aren’t ‘christian’ colleges banned on humanitarian grounds?? How are they legal under human rights legislation?

  • Teluride

    I had my first same sex experience at 4, and I’ve never stopped since.

  • Teluride

    I didn’t have the software DL that let religion mix w my sex life. A horrible mistake many unsuspecting make. Just delete the software program from your mind and all will be well. :)

Comments are closed.