A survey by the Paulista State University and the University of São Paulo, published in the Nature Scientific Reports journal, estimates that 12 percent of Brazilian adults classify themselves as gay, bisexual, asexual, or transgender.
The survey interviewed 6,000 people over 18 years old from 129 cities and reached its conclusion by sampling, in a similar process to voting intentions surveys.
Among the 12 percent LGBTQ+ people, 5.7 percent identify as asexual, 2.12 percent as bisexual, 1.37 percent as gay, 0.93 percent as lesbian, 0.68 percent as trans, and 1.18 percent as non-binary.
In May, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) published for the first time a survey about the population’s sexuality. It found that almost 95 percent of Brazilians declared themselves to be heterosexual.
But, in both cases, the results may not represent reality. In the IBGE survey, respondents may have felt embarrassed about filling in a questionnaire about their own sexuality.
In the most recent survey, interviewers tried to avoid this by asking broader questions (such as “have you ever been attracted to someone of the same sex?” instead of “are you gay?”). But there may still have been misinterpretations. An example is the high rate of people who declared themselves asexual: they may have confused the option of not having a partner with the lack of desire for other people.