14 NOVEMBER 1958, Page 24

SIR,—May I try to enlighten Mr. Royston Pike? There are

three available sets of statistics for the incidence of homosexuality. In America, according to Dr. Kinsey, 4 'per cent, of the adult male popu- lation are exclusively homosexual and 37 per cent. have had some form of homosexual experience. In Sweden it has been estimated that 1 per cent. are exclusively homosexual and 4 per cent. have both homosexual and heterosexual tendencies. It has been objected that the Kinsey figures are too high and the Swedish figures too low, but the only com- parable investigation in this country (quoted in the

Wolfenden Report) attributes homosexual trends to 5 per cent. and some homosexual experience to 30

per cent. Taking the adult male population of Britain as 18,000,000, this would give a total of 900,000 and 5,400,000 respectively. Dr. Denis Parr has told the Royal Society of Medicine that there is 'an almost astronomical disparity'—perhaps a ratio of 2,500 to one—'between the numbers of illicit sexual acts that occur and those that are de- tected and prosecuted by the guardians of the law.' In fact, only about one hundred men are prosecuted each year for acts with consenting adults in private.

I am assuming, of course, that Mr. Royston Pike's inquiry was prompted by an holiest desire to learn the truth, though his contention that the problem has been 'slimed over' by sentimentality does not lend much support to this hypothesis.—Yours faithfully,