(UPDATED) A recap of stories lazily reiterating the claim that gays are rich, which we aren’t. (Previously.)

  • Who’s gonna put Obama back in office next year? Filthy-rich gays. Politico reported it and Jezebel and Kos repeated it, so surely it must be true.

    Professional gay men, with a personal stake in politics and less likely to have children or college funds that would consume their disposable income, have long been key to Democratic fundraising.

    A beautifully qualified statement, but still false. (Except for the lower incidence of children.) What’s really going on, I think, is Democrats are pitching the small number of really rich gays. If so, I’m sure they’ll be surprised at how many of those turn out to be Republicans.

    (Politico hacks Ben Smith and Maggie Haberman didn’t respond to queries. Neither did Jezebel editrix Irin Carmon or the great Markos Moulitsas. Jezebel’s system won’t post my comment, either.)

  • Stuff White People Like Dept.: Lesbos get 10% off at maternity store. “Only in the Slope,” as the article declares. Proprietress Karen Paperno digs herself quite the hole:

    “The lesbians love it and the gay males get upset,” she says. “But their disposable income is so much higher than women’s. Men just make more than women…. People have gotten upset but it’s my store and I have the right to do it,” she says. “I offer hardship discounts of all kinds, all the time. This is just one that I advertise.”

    Who could object to this sort of thing? If you do, it’s[a] sad commentary on how not PC PC folks think they are.”

    It has nothing to do with political correctness and everything to do with actual factual correctness. Briefly stated, Karen Paperno is full of shit. As I explained in an E-mail (and a postal letter) to Paperno:

    The difference between you and me is I have read essentially all the research on lesbian and gay incomes and earnings – and you haven’t. Hence I can confidently advise you that the overwhelming majority of studies hold that:

    • gay males earn less than straight males on average

    • lesbians earn more than straight women on average (often not by a wide measure)

    • gay-male and lesbian earnings are almost equivalent to each other on average

    Lesbians have children roughly half as often as straight couples, and gay males about half as often again. So if you were trying to increase business among the most economically vulnerable couples, you’d give gay dads a discount, not lesbian moms.

    And surely you are aware that the general earnings differential you misapply to the gay and lesbian population almost disappears when you match hetero males and females for education and experience.

    Based on system error messages, the store has not received my E-mail. In the unlikely event she responds to my letter, I will report back.

  • The Hawaiians are running a gay film festival. Why? Well, isn’t one reason obvious? “Because they typically have a higher level of disposable income,” said Daniel Chun of the Honolulu Gay & Lesbian Cultural Foundation. They don’t, of course, as I informed the Foundation (no response).

The worst gay-marketing survey ever?
Donovan Steyl, come on down!

Pink X strikes again. This time it’s not pink pound, which at least is alliterative, or pink dollar, which isn’t, but pink rand. Yes, impoverished, balkanized, crime-ridden, ungovernable Second World hotspot South Africa now wants us to believe their gay men are rich.

Donovan Steyl of something called Lunch Box Media (“It’s all about the package!”), this is all your fault.

According to the ABNSA Gay Consumer profile that was commissioned in 2008, roughly 10% of the South African population is gay. This amounts to just over 4.8 million people.

Actually, since 96.5% of the respondents in this survey (PDF) were men but the total number of respondents were not reported, that magical 10% figure has no factual basis whatsoever. And did you know the ostensible authors, Qualitative Quarter, call the whole report “statistically significant,” which a “report” cannot be?

(On questioning, QQ denies being the author of the study. “The information you refer to was collated by our company; we did not conduct the poll. I have referred your query to the Gay Pages,” whoever answers their general E-mail wrote. I’m waiting for a response from Gay Pages. Another source cited, the Theta Project, did not respond to E-mails.)

Academic Nicola Kleyn explained her role thus (after blasting me a little):

Based on a request from an MBA student of mine, I provided Gay Pages with some input around scaling, the wording of items, and how the survey results could be analy[z]ed for this survey. I also referred the survey developers to someone to assist with the tabulation of findings This input took the form of a single meeting. I was never responsible for any aspect of quality of this survey and received no remuneration for this project.

Your concerns about sampling are valid – it was a convenience sample and so non-response bias and the readership of the magazine needs to be considered when analy[z]ing the results. As to what variables were measured: This depends on what the objectives of the survey were. Naturally you are welcome to suggest how this survey might have been improved but I suggest you take this up with the authors.

That hasn’t been going well so far.

Anyway, Donovan, what were you saying? (Everything here is sic, obviously.)

The term “DINK” for this demographic was coined… Dual Income No Kids. This means that the gay community tend to have more disposable income…. The “Pink Rand” is a considerable segment of the South African market and is known for its superior spending value.

There are no facts to back this up.

Who, incidentally, is ostensibly benefitting from this pink rand? What a surprise: Absolut.

Some more “facts” in this, the worst gay-marketing survey ever:

  • Income ranges are listed (a full 25% in the highest two bands!), but not average income. (Median income – a more useful figure anyway – is given as R30,000 a month.) Nor is there any comparison with matched heterosexual groups; right there that makes the whole report useless.

  • Respondents were asked about their coming-out age, “planned retirement age,” pets (including dog breeds and pet-food brands), restaurant attendance, booze brands, “luxury goods,” wristwatches, jewelry, what supermarkets they shop at, and of course hobbies.

    I’m not even going to get into the biases inherent in a report that polls South African gays about their pets but not their race. How many Xhosa lesbian couples earn over R400,000 a year, I wonder?

  • “47% are self-employed. 75% are in management positions…. Respondents tend to be highly skilled, creative and self-reliant.”

  • Occupational categories were listed, but they don’t match those used in the South African census (I checked), meaning you can’t compare pink-rand apples to official oranges.

  • “80% consider themselves spiritual.”

  • “Many respondents from rural areas responded.” In fact, over 70% of respondents lived in cities or the two most populous provinces.

  • “With so many cohabiting couples in the community,” the report begins, then forgets to tell us how many.

  • Did you know there was a U.S. gay magazine (read by 3% of respondents) called ON? (Surely Out?)

So many factors are more prevalent with gays than with the general population: “Education levels are much higher.” “Eating out and entertaining… occur much more frequently.” “Platinum-credit-card ownership is much higher.” “[F]ar more than the straight population” will “go for regular wellness and beauty-therapy treatments.” Having “luxury brands at the top of a survey list of the most-commonly-owned automobiles… is quite different from mainstream studies.” None of these claims was remotely verified.

What is the likely truth here? There are lots of homosexual blacks in the townships, a few gay coloureds, and a raft of entitled, ladder-climbing white gay arrivistes with delusions of grandeur. That’s who Steyl is talking about, and they are, incidentally, a group with the second-worst English accent (the dreaded “Sithifrican ixint”) on earth. (What’s even worse? “Zimbibwean.”) Just to declare my biases.

What does Donovan Steyl have to say for himself?

He pointed me to two unrelated (equally nonscientific) surveys and finished his top-posted message with “Stick to your day job!”

How long are you going to have a job, Dono, if you keep peddling false numbers to your clients? My advice to them: Hire Donovan Steyl and Lunch Box Media if you want, but don’t expect him to base his pitch on verified – or even verifiable – numbers.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2011.05.15 14:35. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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