The latest chapter is an ongoing series that might be called: The Art of Polling. This break out comes from a recent New York Times/CBS Poll, as noted by Kevin Hechtkopf:
Just 44 percent of Americans support “homosexuals” serving openly in the military, if you use the word “homosexuals.” But change that word to “gay men and lesbians” and the poll flips–suddenly 58 percent of the same sample poll sample suddenly support this group serving openly in the military. In other words, perhaps 14 percent of Americans don’t want “homosexuals” to serve openly in the military, but are happy to have “gay men and lesbians” in the same positions.
Incidentally, this pattern holds for a different question, without the word “openly”: “Do you favor or oppose homosexuals serving in the military?” gets 34 percent saying strongly favor and 19 percent strongly opposing. If you ask, “Do you favor or oppose gay men and lesbians serving in the military?” suddenly 51 percent strongly favor and just 12 percent strongly oppose.So let us speculate: Who exactly fills this gap? Men who get uneasy about anything “homosexual” but have nothing against “lesbians”? Women who suddenly realize that other women are effected when “lesbians” are mentioned? Latter-day Puritans who are opposed to any poll question that contains the syllable “sex”? Is homosexual too much of a concept, while “gay men and lesbians” are actual people?