Letter: How fear and ignorance cloud the debate about the age of consent

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The Independent Online
Sir: Lady Olga Maitland states (20 January) that only 0.2 per cent of the population are homosexual. This appears to be based on a study carried out by our unit and published in 1989.

In fact, the study showed that 8 out of 480 (1.7 per cent) young and middle-aged males in this country reported a history of homosexuality. The more recent comprehensive survey of sexual behaviour puts the equivalent figure at 3.6 per cent.

Yours faithfully,


Staff Scientist

Cancer Epidemiology Unit

Imperial Cancer Research Fund

University of Oxford


24 January