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Because high school students are less mobile than adults, this suggests that a gay exodus from these areas is not a large factor.We can approach the question of whether intolerant areas actually have fewer gay men another way, too, by estimating the percent of searches for pornography that are looking for depictions of gay men.Additional evidence that suggests that many gay men in intolerant states are deeply in the closet comes from a surprising source: the Google searches of married women.It turns out that wives suspect their husbands of being gay rather frequently.But data from Match.com, one of the country’s largest dating sites, which has high rates of membership for both straight and gay men, reveals a similarly large number of missing gay men in less tolerant states.This suggests that these men are not only not telling Facebook they are gay but are also not looking for relationships online.The evidence also suggests that a large number of gay men are married to women.
The data used in this analysis is available in highly aggregated form only and can be downloaded from publicly accessible sites.I searched gay and straight men by state of birth and state of current residence.(This information is available only for a subset of Facebook users.) Some gay men do move out of less tolerant states, but this effect is small.My preliminary research indicates that for every 20 percentage points of support for gay marriage about one-and-a-half times as many men from that state will identify openly as gay on Facebook.In a perfectly tolerant world, my model estimates that about 5 percent of men in the United States would say they were interested in men.