‘Confirmation bias’ is a term psychologists use to describe a human trait we all share to some extent: seeking out data that confirm what we already know or believe.
Think of it as a filter in the brain through which all information passes. As a result of such straining, we accept that everything that confirms our current knowledge is proof, while everything that doesn’t is an exception.
However, most of us draw the line somewhere. When statistical data contradict too blatantly elementary common sense and the empirical evidence we’ve accumulated over a lifetime, we’re likely to reject them even if they seem to confirm our cherished belief.
At least that’s what sane people do, a category to which, on the evidence of his article It’s Clear Our Sexuality Isn’t Set in Stone, Matthew Parris doesn’t belong. Actually, Mr Parris’s own homosexuality seems to be perfectly lapidary, but, according to him, many more people than we realise are fluid in their proclivities, tending towards the same sex.
Some 10 years ago I found myself on the receiving end of homosexuals’ slings and arrows. Among many things they found infuriating was my statement that only just over one per cent of Britons are homosexuals. This was based on the largest survey I had seen, one conducted on 20,000 subjects.
Yet homosexual activists, who have a vested interest in exaggerating such numbers, insist that the real figure is 10 per cent. This is preached by the bible of Gay Pride, Peter Tatchell’s newspaper PinkNews.
My assailants didn’t cite any contradicting polls, but I’m sure they exist. I don’t know if they are as extensive and credible as the one I used, but this doesn’t really matter. Confirmation bias kicks in on both sides.
The figure of about one percent tallied with my observation and experience, whereas Mr Tatchell et al. were more comfortable with 10 per cent. The tenfold difference is huge, but not inexplicable. After all, if we decide which set of data to accept on the basis of our own experience, it’s to be expected that Mr Tatchell’s would differ from mine.
Mr Parris’s, however, must be startlingly different even from Mr Tatchell’s. In his article he quotes “figures [against which] we cannot argue”. What he means is that these figures support his confirmation bias so strongly, that he “cannot argue” with them.
However, since the unarguable figures he quotes aren’t just out in left field but out of the stadium, its car park and the immediate vicinity, I’ll argue against them – as will any sensible person of any of the 74 currently recognised sexes.
My hand is strengthened by a long experience of using market research. When my proposed ad campaigns were subjected to focus groups, I knew how easily the respondents could be manipulated.
They often tend to give answers that make them sound good or else those they feel the researcher would rather hear. Thus the list of questions, the way the researcher is briefed to pose them, the selection of respondents could all skew results in a desired way.
Hence I know to take surveys with a grain of salt and, ideally, a shot of tequila as well. Mr Parris’s experience must be different, which is why his credulity is almost touching.
Allow me to quote at length:
“… Respondents from each generation [of the four involved] were asked to say which of the following four groups they’d put themselves in: “‘Only attracted to the opposite sex’; ‘Mostly attracted to the opposite sex’; ‘Equally attracted to both sexes’; and ‘Mostly/only attracted to the same sex’.
“Brace yourself for the British result. Just over half (54 per cent) of the youngest generation said they were only attracted to the opposite sex. The older the respondents got, the less gay they declared themselves to be. The figure for Millennials was 60 per cent exclusively heterosexual; Generation X 76 per cent; and Baby Boomers 84 per cent.”
“Mostly, that’s good news,” says Mr Parris. The good news, according to him, is that almost half of young people aren’t exclusively straight. However, by any reasonable social, moral, aesthetic and demographic standards these findings would spell a catastrophe – if they were true to life.
But they can’t possibly be. The old statistical legerdemain has to be at play here, though not necessarily in any fraudulent way. It’s just that the younger people are, the more they’ve been subjected to unremitting woke propaganda of homosexuality, starting at kindergarten level.
They’ve been brainwashed to regard anyone who finds anything wrong with any ‘lifestyle’ to be almost as evil as a racist. And evil isn’t an image of themselves that most people are willing to project. Having homosexual tendencies is to them progressive, inclusive and, well, cool. Being staunchly heterosexual is, on the other hand, decidedly uncool.
“The US figures show younger Americans are even less likely (52 per cent) to say they only fancy the opposite sex,” rejoices Mr Parris. So everything is fine with the world.
Astonishingly, he knows that the results are unreliable: “These polls show that peer-group pressure can be an unconscious moulder of sexuality.” It can also be a conscious moulder of survey responses. But either way, Mr Parris is happy:
“We shall have many more gay and bisexual people in the century ahead. That’s fine. And perhaps many more trans people too… By social pressure, classroom pressure, media pressure and, yes, through mere fashion, we are moulding soft clay, not discovering some great shard of internal granite children are born with. The younger the person, the softer the clay.”
It used to be the Jesuits who said: “Give us a boy, and we’ll give you a man.” Now it’s the homosexuals. But, while my feelings about the situation are different from Mr Parris’s, I admire his honesty.
He openly and joyously agrees that ‘progressive’ activists are consciously, systematically and with a clear sense of purpose pushing youngsters towards homo- and transsexuality – and that without such pressures the results wouldn’t be as encouraging as the poll he cites. QED.