Survey: Gays and Straights Are the Same — Except for Their Taste in TV Shows

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Allison Michael Orenstein

Someone tell Carl Paladino: Gays really are like you and me!

From time to time, free dating site OkCupid will comb its data for sociological research and release pithy findings out into the world. (NewsFeed has previously reported their discoveries of the real things white people like and the most common online dating fibs.) Their latest study is on the differences between gay and straight users — and surprisingly, there aren’t many! Except in the most important category: what they like to watch on TV. (See the 100 best TV shows of all time.)

According to the study, many of the most bilious stereotypes about gays hold no basis in reality. Gays on the site are no more promiscuous than straights: the distribution curves of their sex partners are nearly identical. (The research also shows that this image probably comes from a vocal, in more ways than one, minority: reportedly, 2% of gays had 23% of the gay sex.) Gays also showed little interest in trolling for straights to “turn”: only a fraction of a percent of gays and lesbians searched for straight matches on the site.

More research revealed that bi-curiosity is blurring the lines between straight and gay. In a survey of users who identified as straight, 13% of males and 33% of females reported some same-sex activity in their past. (Additionally, 5% of straight men and 13% of straight women reported that, though they had not had a same-sex encounter, they would like to.)

But there was one marked difference between sexual preferences: each group’s favorite TV shows, movies and books. The most statistically unique phrases in straight men’s dating profiles include Band of Brothers and Saving Private Ryan; for gay men, it’s Project Runway and The Devil Wears Prada. Straight women love Pretty Woman and Nicholas Sparks; lesbians cannot get enough of The L Word. What can we say? Some stereotypes, apparently, exist for a reason.

Read the full report, including a look at each sexual preference’s personality traits, on