Same-sex relationships have occurred throughout history and across cultures. This entry presents scientific knowledge of gay men in contemporary society. Although the ways in which gay men are defined has varied over the 20th century, both by researchers and within gay communities, key commonalities and controversies are highlighted and described. Current knowledge is limited by the extent to which research has centered on the experience of gay men in North America, Europe, and Australia among primarily White, middle-class people.

An accurate estimate of the number of gay men in society is difficult to ascertain, as the number can vary depending on how the question is asked, the degree to which the labeling is based on self-identification versus sexual behavior, and the anonymity of the response. ...

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