Duped by Data? The Truth About IPSOS’s Pride Survey


On 10 June 2024, The Straits Times picked up on IPSOS’s annual Pride survey which seeks to provide a snapshot of sentiments concerning LGBTQ issues in selected countries around the globe. In 2024’s iteration, IPSOS conducted the study across 26 countries (down from 30 in 2023), including Singapore.

The headline and key findings are eye-grabbing, but probably unreliable in representing the perspective of regular members of the public.

From a picture of Singaporeans being “on the fence” about LGBTQ issues to “more support” for certain contentious issues, the report gives an impression that Singapore is much more liberal than believed.

Are the survey results reliable and representative? Diving deeper into this study uncovers several issues in surveys attempting to understand sentiments concerning LGBTQ issues.

1. Online and More Connected People only

IPSOS is upfront about the survey being reflective of the views of “the more connected segment” of Singapore’s population.

IPSOS reports that, “Samples in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ireland, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, and Türkiye are more urban, more educated, and/or more affluent than the general population. The survey results for these countries should be viewed as reflecting the views of the more “connected” segment of their population.”

Interesting how The Straits Times neglected to mention that fact in their eye-grabbing headline.

Online sampling results in sampling bias which leads to skewed data. This survey has limited representativeness for Singapore as it excludes the “offline” population in general and especially those who are not on IPSOS’s “Global Advisor” online platform.

The results therefore do not reflect the views of Singaporeans in general, but those who are well-connected to the internet.

This is a common issue with online-only surveys. It remains to be seen what those who are less bombarded with pro-LGBTQ narratives over digital media would feel about LGBTQ issues.

2. Unstable LGBTQ Population

Something worth noting, but curiously omitted in the reports is the huge fluctuation of self-identified LGBTQ respondents in IPSOS’s surveys.

  • In 2022, it did a survey on sentiments concerning the repeal of 377A, with a total of 12% respondents (out of 500) identifying as LGBTQ;
  • In 2023, IPSOS’s global pride study had 9% of respondents (out of 1000) identifying as LGBTQ;
  • And in this year’s, only 6% identified as LGBTQ (out of 500)

This instability is symptomatic of yet another common problem in surveys trying to understand the LGBTQ population and issues: A lack of definitions.

IPSOS’s survey did not provide definitions for its LGBTQ identity options. This leaves open the possibility of misreporting by respondents, contributing to inflated figures. This, however, still does not explain the huge 50% variance from 12% (2022), to 6% (2024) in IPSOS’s surveys, casting doubt on the credibility of the survey altogether.

The picture is even more puzzling when IPSOS’s LGBTQ % in the U.S. is compared with findings from another survey company that has been polling on these issues for a long time. Gallup also published its annual survey on LGBTQ identification earlier in March 2024, stating that LGBTQ+ identification in the U.S. stands at 7.6% (n=12000), as compared to IPSOS’s 12% (n=1000).

These issues regarding the reported LGBTQ population point to underlying methodological weaknesses, which bring the rest of the survey’s results into question.

3. Younger? Much more likely to be LGBTQ

Fad or fact? In a “connected” sample group exposed to LGBT rhetoric, what factors explain Gen Z’s adoption of the LGBT label?

IPSOS’s survey reveals that its 26-country average of 11% of respondents identifying as LGBTQ+ is driven largely by Gen Zs which has 17% (about 1 in 6) identifying as LGBTQ. This picture is not too far from Gallup’s results which similarly reflected an oddly high number of Gen Zs identifying as LGBTQ (1 in 5).

The disparity in the self-identifications across the generations should immediately raise questions about whether LGBTQ identification could be the result of a “social contagion”, where higher exposure to LGBTQ messaging and ideology has led to more sexual and gender questioning and experimentation among demographics with immature identity formation, leading to higher rates of identification as LGBTQ.

It also raises the question of just how much LGBTQ sentiments are innate or a result of environmental factors like media exposure and social indoctrination. This would corroborate the latest most robust Genome-Wide study which reveals that 75-92% of the influence on same-sex sexual behaviour comes from non-genetic factors.

4. Murky Definitions and Multi-Barrelled Questions

Surveys on LGBTQ issues often use ambiguous terminology, leaving respondents to interpret terms in varied ways. Take “discrimination,” for instance.

The word itself is neutral, simply meaning “making distinctions.” However, in the context of LGBTQ discussions, it’s almost always assumed to have a negative connotation.

Consider price discrimination, which frequently occurs for positive reasons. Children and the elderly pay lower bus fares to support those in greater need. Similarly, when questions touch on policies related to housing, access to businesses, spaces, and medical services, there’s a lot to unpack. Understanding these distinctions as either positive or negative requires more context than a single survey question can provide.

To make matters worse, survey questions sometimes lump multiple issues together, even though respondents might have responded differently if each item were isolated in separate questions. This bundling can lead to responses about “discrimination” that are grossly inaccurate.

Consider the following example where the question bundles multiple issues together:

  1. “More LGBT characters on TV, in films, and in advertising.” Some people might be comfortable with LGBT representation in films, but not in advertisements or mainstream TV. The level of control over one’s exposure to the material and the intended audience can significantly influence responses. For instance, the public reasonably reacted strongly to the targeting of children in children’s TV shows and there is often more pushback against “woke” Disney content that targets children compared to LGBT representation in adult-oriented films.
  2. “Lesbian, gay, and bisexual people should be protected from discrimination in employment, housing, and access to businesses such as restaurants and stores.” Here, the term “discrimination” is incredibly vague, and the question lumps together at least three distinct but significant areas: employment, housing, and access to businesses or physical spaces. Each of these areas encompasses numerous aspects, and what “discrimination” means can vary widely within each context.

    Consider how Jack Philips has been harassed by LGBT Activists for over a decade for refusing to betray his religious convictions. When “protection from discrimination” means infringement on freedoms of conscience, the public should take pause from an uncritical parroting of “discrimination” discourse.
  3. “Transgender people should be protected from discrimination in employment, housing, and access to businesses such as restaurants and stores.” This is similar to the second point. The question groups together multiple areas where discrimination might occur, each requiring separate consideration. For example, the nature of discrimination in employment might differ significantly from that in housing or access to businesses. Consider the case of the “Transgender Woman” who demanded that his balls be waxed by a women’s salon for instance. Did the business have the right to turn him away?
  4. “Laws banning discrimination against LGBT people when it comes to employment, access to education, housing, and social services, etc.” Similar to the previous point, this question combines at least four distinct areas: employment, education, housing, and social services. Each area is complex and multifaceted, and respondents might have different opinions on each one. For example, someone might support non-discrimination laws in housing but have reservations about their application in social services or education.

By bundling these distinct issues into single questions, surveys risk masking the true opinions of respondents. Each area of discrimination is nuanced and requires individual attention to understand the full spectrum of public opinion.

Surveys that fail to separate these components risk producing data that is misleading and counterproductive for crafting effective policy.

5. What’s the Cost of Change?

Who’s gonna pay?

While surveys often report “increased” support for major policy overhauls, they seldom discuss the actual impact and cost for the average citizen should these changes come to pass.

Take “insurance coverage for gender transitioning,” for instance. If we lived in a fantasy where insurance premiums weren’t affected by what the system covers, then sure, we could throw money at any and every medical procedure, especially the costliest ones.

But that’s not our reality. Introducing new medical procedures into an already expansive insurance system aiming to be “all-inclusive” will inevitably raise premiums for everyone—as if premiums aren’t high enough already.

The true impact of LGBTQ-affirming insurance on premiums for everyone else remains to be seen. However, it’s estimated that making such coverage mandatory could lead to a staggering $1.5 billion increase in annual premiums if made mandatory.

Will the cost to the public when more housing units are allocated to unmarried individuals be that families are deprived of urgently needed housing? What will be the costs and opportunity costs born by those impacted by LGBT ideology in terms of identity formation, future planning and family formation?

What’s Next?

Singapore should sensibly not be overly reliant or excited by results from online-only surveys with limited representativeness. They are at best indicative of the respondent pool of whatever survey panel has been utilised rather than of the general population of Singapore.

If society is to meaningfully comment and decide on LGBTQ issues, much more clarity must first be made available, especially on the cost and impact (economic and social) on the whole of society.

Common folks like you and I need to understand what we are getting ourselves into and if we are truly willing to pay the price, and make our future generations pay a snowballed price.

Share this article

Recent posts


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Recent comments