Brazil’s official statistics agency publishes first survey on sexuality

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Photo: Yuri Alexandre/Shutterstock

For the first time ever, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), responsible for carrying out censuses and monitoring economic indicators, has surveyed the Brazilian population’s sexuality. The survey found that 94.8 percent of Brazilians over the age of 18 declare themselves to be heterosexual. Just 1.18 percent say they are homosexual and 0.69 percent, bisexual.

The data was collected from 108,000 households in a 2019 survey in partnership with the Health Ministry. According to the study, 3.4 percent of respondents did not answer or said they did not know.

Men are the majority (56.9 percent) of the 1.8 million Brazilians who say they are homosexual. Of the 1.1 million people who say they are bisexual, the majority are women (65.6 percent).

The data, however, might not portray an accurate picture of Brazilians’ sexuality. The fact that answers were given to a surveyor could have skewed results, as people could have given answers they deem more socially acceptable.

The older the respondent, the lower the chances of them identifying as homosexual. Amongst people aged up to 29 years old, 4.8 percent of respondents are not heterosexual. This number falls to 0.2 percent among those aged 60 or more. Homosexual or bisexual rates also increase among wealthier and more educated demographics.

Homophobia is very much present in Brazilian culture. A new study published on May 17 — the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia — shows that 316 LGBTI+ people were killed in Brazil last year alone.