Gay Men and MBTI

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I generally save my weird searches for roundups, but this one raised a pretty fascinating question that I thought I could spend a little time saying something about:

myers-briggs t or f the truth infp men are gay

As an absolute statement, the answer should obviously be false, but someone whose websearching skills are this bad might not even understand the distinction between absolute statements and generalizations. I know a few INFP men, and one of them has admitted to having struggled with his sexual identity in college but has strong heterosexual tendencies and is happily married to an ENTJ woman. The others I know don't even have any sense of gay tendencies.

As a generalization, we'd need to do an empirical study, but I'd say the odds are against it. The percentage of the U.S. adult male population that's gay is something like 3%. The percentage of the population that's INFP is something like 1%. It's consistent with those numbers that INFP men tend to be gay, but it must be a very large percentage of the gay population, and that doesn't seem likely to me. For one, many gay people are extroverts, and many gay people are not P but J. Just look at some of the celebrities who are openly gay. Queer Eye capitalizes on J gay people, and the outward-focused nature of quite a number of gay celebrities makes it likely that a good number of them are E. What's more likely to correlate, thouh certainly not necessarily, is being F. What's likely to lead to a gay identification is a trait more commonly thought to be feminine, and F is that. I don't have any sense of N or S, but it's not likely to me that it could be much more than a very general favoring.

So the answer is probably just no. There might be more INFP gay men than some other MBTI types, but I doubt INFP is even the dominant personality type for gay men, if there is one. I don't think it's even the stereotypical type. That's more likely to be ENFJ.

34 Comments

It would be ESFJ / ESFP not ENFJ the sterotypical are shallow and more direct to wards ESF more Js though.

The reason I was thinking N and not S is because the stereotype of gay men includes what's often called women's intuition. I can see some of the stereotypical figures being SFP, though.

"many gay people are extroverts"

those are the visible. there are also the minority beyond minority who invisible. and could be infp

Gollum, many gay people might be INFP. I never said otherwise. I'm responding to the suggestion that INFP is the gay man's personality type. I think that's false. The numbers make that highly unlikely, and part of my argument for that is that many gay men are extroverts. I wasn't assuming anything about how many gay men are introverts. Maybe most gay men are introverts. That wouldn't surprise me any more than any other possibility. All my argument needs is that many are extroverts, and I think that's demonstrably true.

I was recently certified to administer the MBTI and in the training manual there was a study on personality type and homosexuality. Believe it or not, the personality type with the highest percentage of homosexuality was the INTJ type. I'm a straight INFP. I find I have a pretty androgenous personalilty and when I exhibit more feminine traits, people at times question my sexuality.

My dad is an infp and so is one of my male friends. Both are very anti-gay. Not hateful. Just very clear that they wish to never have gay advances imposed on them. I'm an intj female and I think we are pretty gay. Probably because we feel that we are too complex for anyone who is not exactically like us to be intamate with us. Intamacy is a big thing for us. Being so abstract and out of touch with our feelings leaves us feeling/thinking that we need a tangible expression of how much we love ourselves to make us feel valid. Pretty sad hu? It's also very unhealthy in practical terms. Because it keeps us from growing out into the world and learning to have faith in the world around us, instead of always being so afraid or rejection that we turn to abstractions and theories to compensate. It creates convoluted needs and accentuates desires that may not have been as strong in the first place. Intj's are also the most likely I believe to become addicted to a drug. it just goes to show that being alone or too self reliant by nature is not healthy for anyone, and creates odd ways of coping.

Believe it or not, the personality type with the highest percentage of homosexuality was the INTJ type.

Chiming in as a gay INTJ (with no small amount of MBTI expertise).

To the OP: First, your 3% (actually, it's more like 5%) and 1% numbers and then saying "this means a very large percentage of the gay population must be INFP is flawed math. you do NOT take "1% into 3% and get 1/3"!, you actually have to multiply 1% times 3% (actually 5%) and get, in your example, a theoretical .03% of the population who were gay *and* INFP.

Second, yes, the *STEREOTYPCIAL* gay man, if your idea of gay men is still the outdated "gay pride parade image of the 1970s" of prancing drag queens in feather boas. Yes, this would indicate ESFP. However, don't forget to "introverted" stereotypes of gay males, too--the quiet librarian who never has a date "so I think he's gay!"


I *am* fascinated that INTJ was a majority regarding gay test-takers, though! In gay crowds, I always feel very out of place as an INTJ...then again, the "crowd" part of it selects against that type in the first place :)

Kent, I think you must have misread something. I wasn't asserting that "a very large percentage of the gay population must be INFP". I was saying that the view I was criticizing must require that, and that's extremely unlikely.

I never endorsed the stereotype as normative. I simply said that even the stereotype doesn't fit the assumptions of the search. I also said that we shouldn't expect reality to fit it either. That just makes it worse.

Hah, Jeremy that's a really interesting study, because I am a gay Christian and I am INTJ-- where did you find that study?

Ray, the information about what percentage of the population is gay comes from Eugene Volokh, and you'd have to go to his post to see where he's gotten it from. The other source was probably just what a Google search turned up on MBTI estimates of how common different types are. I put links in so anyone could see where the information came from.

While I'm here, I should say that I forgot to mention that Volokh's source does have 3% from the 1994 study and not the 5% fthat Kent claimed, and I haven't seen any information yet that should update it to 5% since 1994. It's possible, I suppose, but I have seen nothing but an assertion so far. It's not going to affect my overall point, but I went back and checked, and Volokh does have 3%. His point was to refute the myth that it's 10%. I don't know if the 5% number is also a myth, but I'd need to see substantiation to revise the number, and Kent didn't provide that.

Hey all, interesting to see these comments. I took an org. behavior class about a year ago and was introduced to the whole concept of personality-typing.
It actually provided some useful information about the 'misunderstandings' I had in my prior relationship.
I'm an INTJ, was dating an ESFP...no wonder neither one of us could understand each other.
on the topic of the statistics...who knows if I believe any of it since I'm the only gay intj that i've ever known :)
Regardless, I think the MBTI profiles provide some great insight on understanding people around you and communicating with them.

I'm a 19 yo INTJ male and gay. I had a suspician INTJ's are connected to gay guys because a friend (more than friend maybe?) has the same personality type as me and hes always trying to rub up on me and says gay sh*t all the time. So I searched on google and here I am. Also with my gaydar I've picked up on some classmates of mine as being introverted and gay, like this guy who Id notice looking at me from across the room. Eventually he started sitting by me and we'd talk about weed a lot. Another interesting thing is that INTJ's are considered pro-weed, the INTJ friend of mine is also a pothead.

Just a representative for gay INFPs chiming in to say hello :-)

Another gay INTJ chiming in.


One thing I am wondering about: in my case, I stayed closeted for a _really_ long time (knew it since I was 13, and am just coming out now at the ripe age of 37...). Now, I'm wondering how INTJ correlates with probability of really long closets.


Indeed, "I" (Introversion) correlates whith shyness, which gives motivation for staying in the closet. Shyness also gives a plausible explanation why the subject is still single, so outsider's might be less likely to question a shy single's sexuality, than they would an extorvert single's.


N (Intuition) makes vivid imagination easier, which on one hand allows the subject to please himself more easily, and on the other hand scares the subject from coming out, due to all the exagerated catastrophe scenarios of rejection that his N type allows him to imagine.

T (Thinking) and J (Judgment) gives the subject the means to actually pull it off. His tendency of detailed planning ahead allows him to keep out of situations where he might reveal his "secret" inadvertedly.


Now, if the most prevalent MBTI type among gay people is indeed INTJ, wouldn't this mean that a sizable amount of gay people is still closeted, and would not be detected by statistics? Which would imply that the real percentage of gay people among the general population would actually be much higher than the 2%, 5% or 10% that most statistics claim.


Or do researchers already take this "tip of the iceberg" phenomenon into account, and "compensate" for it?

when you look at personality page.com, the section on who you're likely to be attracted to, I am an ENFP female and am attracted to the types they suggest are most compatible, INFJ and INTJ. I have known two bi INFJ's and no gay INTJ's. I think sometimes people think they're gay if they get turned on by the arousal of the same sex, but I think that is merely a function of intuition- the ability to put yourself in another person's place. Intuitives can feel what others are feeling, regardless of the gender or emotion. I have dreamnt I was both a guy and a cat (different dreams)- that doesn't make me gay or insane, just creative. To the INTJ guy who dates the ESFP girl, try an ENFP- makes all the difference.

I guess I would like to chime in on this form because I've been working on developing the weakness of my personality type, and trying to at least develop or understand my sexuality.

I'm a 21 year old homosexual INFP, and my high ideals of relationships and high ideals of fitting into society have made my life very challenging. It's hard enough for any personality type to deal with the emotional turmoil of dealing with their homosexuality, but I was curious to know how other homosexual INFP's deal with relationships and society.

Primarily because my ideals of romance don't line up with the gay community. It's like I'm trying to find my soul mate while other gay men will sleep with several partners (not that i'm judging them or anything), that's just not me.

I'm also slightly curious to know (and i'm sure it would be difficult to ever discover) the correlation between homosexual INFP's and suicide. It's just ISFP's are typically very sensative, and probably have a harder time viewing themselves in a good light while being judged, betrayed, and stereotyped when coming out.

Any ideas out there?

I'm an INTJ and gay and was in the closet until I was 19 - im 39 now. I find some resonance with the comments here - most if not all gay people I know have low self esteem - which may lead to depression and suicidal thoughts - or it may appear as self destructive behaviour. I find this even in extroverts. Society's insidious invalidation of gayness destroys our sense of self worth at a vulnerable age. So whatever 'front' we put on is simply a coping mechanism.

Hi,
Interesting views displayed here. I am not convinced that stereotyping of no matter which group of the population works.
Am myself an ENFP male, took long to come out (4 (?=)-22 yo)and do not display female characteristics (I believe and have been told).
Brgds,
Melvin

I'm another gay INTJ. I came out twenty years ago at age 19. In all this time I have never to my knowledge known another INTJ, although the MBTI is a recent interest so I wouldn't have brought it up.

I want to comment about the nature of correlation. Just because INTJs are more often identified as gay than other groups does not imply causation; there may be any number of other explanations for this - off the top of my head, INTJs may be more likely to become psychology students, who are the "random" population from which nearly all psychological statistics are drawn.

I'm happy to read that many others are potheads, too.

Davy

Hehe - sex, drugs,...I guess I'll chime in for rock \m/! Umm...I'm a 24 y/o male INFP. Here's my opinion: I don't like to be labeled as bi, period. I haven't been in any relationships long enough to find out if I was homosexual or not. I don't like the polarity of being an "ism" or "ist", I'll claim my personality type (I test annually and find the same results, INFP since age 14) - I've been with 2 males and 4 females in my lifetime. David feels the same way I do on romance - promiscuity really turns me off!

I don't like the notion of social labels and the stigma it puts on our true expression. I can't grow to realize who I am when someone tries to "convert" me, or wants me to "specify voting party", et cetera. I like to absorb every aspect of the viewpoint given - then I'll decide where I stand...I don't expect find out where exactly, anyhow. I suppose that's the blessing/curse we INFP's tend to have? I leave the door open (metaphor) for anyone to be anything to me - be it friend or a lover (or both), but most aren't willing to find out, and I'm not going to push it; the one's in my past were the brave souls that took the first step into my world. I guess they couldn't handle the weight of the "security-blanket" I threw upon the both of us...so, I'll just wait for the next one, in silence....It would be (if I may add) very helpful if the western world would allow men to explore in such ways. My best friend is an ENTJ of 9 years - I'm the only guy that is allowed to hug and cry with him. He doesn't really need me now for that (he's married and has a son now, too! ;). To the powers that be, thank you for making Him an open-minded musician, too! I have 1 true friend outside my world, so I can take or leave anyone or anything...but I wouldn't want to hurt you like that, and I'm just too curious to resist!

Aaaah! I can be a handful, once my brain gets going. So, I better leave it at that - or else I'll end up writing a book (lol)! Peace be with you. Hope this helps in your journey, Jeremy! *kisses*

My journey? I'm making some sociological observations. I suppose you could call that a journey, but it seems a real stretch of the metaphor.

hey,
20 year old bi INTJ/INFJ here...I don't think can can stereotype if people are gay or not based on MBTI..but I hate anyone knowing ANYTHING about me...so i don't go round telling everyone about my sexuality! but it would;t matter anyway :P and i don;t think i will ever come out of the closet and i'll prob get married as the straight life seems easier to live! plus i'm catholic and indian! so it's ulikely to that i'll ever come out!

I do get teased sometimes for hanging out more with girls and my quiet nature! :( but who cares ...i'm me! and damn proud =D

Have there been any actual studies regarding this? Parat from usual population studies, I might imagine there could be a reverse of more T women, and more F men. I'm an ENTJ. Maybe we should all take a test and look at the results. There are some free online instruments as well as purportedly more accurate Jungian Type Instruments available now.

Hi, straight INFP female here.

I used to think I was attracted to the slightly gay man and only later did I realize that I was actually looking for a kind INFP man in touch with his feminine side!

Subsequently, I've been out with 2 INFP men and did worry at some point if they were bi or gay but both were straight to the core. In fact, I've married second one.

All I'm saying is, someone may LOOK or ACT gay but they might not be.

Hallo out there,

INFJ here, and gay too. I think it's terribly interesting to see a discussion on gays and the MBTI format.

I'm curious, if you want to talk about stereotypes as they concern gay men, what you think about the whole the "butch" vs. "femme" idea in regards to type . . . maybe f vs. t?

Or when it comes to dating which types prefer to aggress and which are the more passive of the types?

I find that for an INFJ I am fairly outgoing . . . until it comes to sex, dating, love. The whole attraction shebang really . . . where I find that I become painfully shy. I also find that I don't really enjoy pursuing AT ALL. Guys that I am attracted to, EP's and ENTP's particularly, don't seem to mind my shyness at all. And though I'm easily embarrassed, their wild nature is the thing I adore the most about these types.

Does anyone else's experience appear to match mine? Which facet of personality do you think most strongly affects whether a person is a pursuer, if any affects it at all?

I'm an 18yo INFJ gay man. I am an introvert, for example when I'm in public I'm generally quiet/reserved but warm towards people since I like saying 'hi' to friendly-looking people in the street. I attribute being nice to the F in my personality.

I am very warm, friendly, gregarious, and even loud/obnoxious when I'm around my friends or when I'm feeling comfortable enough.

Anyways I would love it of there were more F guys out there b/c I seem to be more attracted to them...although I dont think I have many T's as friends, but maybe I do.
Also I think that personality types for gay men are diverse, I dont think that there is a certain 'gay' type to even look for.

I am 21, a gay INFJ, and pretty studious in MBTI. My impression is that the most common trait within gay communities is the 'N'. Not because it could be attributed to womanly intuition, but because it is linked to open-mindedness. And in American culture, open-mindedness is vital to embrace homosexuality. The self-proclaimed gay men whose MBTI types I know are as follows: 2 ENFJ's (one is extremely stereotypical), 6 INFJ's, 2 ENFP's, 4 INFP's, 3 INTJ's, and 1 ISFP. I have great suspicions (which are usually correct) of bisexuality or hidden homosexuality in: 2 ENTP's, 1 INTP, 1 ENFP, 1 INTJ, and 2 ISFP's. Worthy of mention is that for these types, all males I know of with this type are gay (or I suspect are gay) : ENFJ, INFJ, ENFP, INFP. o_O Wait, doesn't that cover an entire Kiersey quadrant? Also, there are no SJ types here, and hardly any SP types. The aversion to strangeness in the _STP types is not quite as present in the ISFP (and likely the ESFP), so _SFP types are more likely to experiment with the same sex, but not necessarily only the same sex.

Much of this is conjecture. However, you can be assured that it has careful research and thought behind it.

It's interesting that so many people would think all INFPs are gay, when most of the people I've come across who are gay were definitely not INFPs, or even NFs. In fact, just about every F male I've known personally has been 100% heterosexual, (even if they were lacking that ESTP cocksure bravado). It's not as though I've met many gay people in my life, but the ones I have met were are were most likely THINKING types, not feelers at all. It just goes to show how stereotypes, once entrenched in people's minds, are hard things to break.

I don't remember anyone thinking all INFPs are gay, just that gay people are more likely to be INFP.

Of course you're going to find just about every INFP being straight. Gay people are only 3.5% of the U.S. population by the best measurements anyone can manage right now. Even if more INFPs are gay, most of the ones you know would still likely be straight.

It's interesting. The "stereotpyical" behaviors of good fashion sense, interior decorating,flamboyancy, etc. are all ES behavior (or SJ's in general). I'm a male ENFP and have none of this! I tend to dress in casual clothes and go through a lot of extra effort to look nice. It doesn't come naturally. My apartment is uninteresting.

I am however extroverted. I display "feminine" qualities like sensitvitiy, intuition, etc, though I think that the gender stereotyping is also flawed.
No one can really tell I'm gay. I'm not stereotypical, I'm not especially "femmy" or flamboyant, my extroverted self notwithstanding. My extrovertedness tends to be more about being talkative than to being the center of attention anyway.

I think the gay stereotypes are pretty flawed, surprise surprise. I have never met a gay INFP. I'm sure they exist, but I have never met one.I have met a gay INTJ, who tells me that he knows a lot of INTJ's (they are all objetivist, his estimate is that 1/3 of objetivists are gay males, a disproportionately high number).

It dawns on me that somewhere like a bar or club is not the place for me to meet an Introvert, which may be my best pair. Idk. I'm not really into the really flamboyant type, though I have no problems whatsoever with people being more masculine or feminine.

Hi, I am a 37, gay and INTJ... now i understand why it is so hard for me to fit into the gay crow, i do not have problems with the social codes that are apply within gay social contexts but it is very hard for me to make sense and engage/interact with most of gay people.

I have very few gay friends ( one journalist, one choreographer, one psychologist) but i have sooooo little tolerance for their friends/partners conversations on pop culture... and its very difficult for me to pretend that i am not bored to death...

i sorry but i am a infj and i kind also think that your myer brigs results have nothing to do with being gay. no offense to the individuals that do not agree by the way. and i am bisexual and 19 too.

I had written a huge (and might I add GENIUS) response to this post, I'd rather just give you the gist at this point.

Hi I am a bisexual INTP male. I just needed to say sexual interest generally doesn't effect IQ or personality. I mean I have seen completely unquestionably gay men that look "straight" if you will. They were masculine, handsome and were totally fearless. I mean DAMN have I seen a real man, in a gay man or two. Therefor I think there exists an explanation in genetics. Now it's possible that this gene creates dispositions to certain behaviors (i.e. homosexuality and maybe a character trait or two.) A gene often determines multiple things. This gene could contribute to personality but it could just as well only determine the sexual preference toward men.

I really wish it had taken my first post! But yeah I have ADD and my N type percentage is 87%, so other genetics could largely determine types. Very interesting. I wish you luck in your investigation!

I'm not sure anyone is really investigating anything. I had a stray thought, and people keep leaving comments on it.

Genes don't determine sexual preference, or there would be no pairs of identical twins of differing sexual orientation. But there are. Genes might play a role, but they rarely determine anything by themselves, and this is no different. There's no reason to think being gay is just a choice. It certainly doesn't feel like a choice to most gay people. But that doesn't mean it's simply a matter of genetics. Given that homosexuality is itself a social construction, it's not likely at all that biological factors are all that goes on in what leads people to identify as having a homosexual orientation.

I'm not sure what happened to your first post, but I don't see anything indicating the software even received it. There's nothing in the spam filter, so it didn't end up there.

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