Sex, Race, and Sexual Orientation in the X-Men (Part 3 of the Six Month Superhero Census)

Cyclops, Storm, Emma Frost, Magneto, Namor, Danger, Colossus, MagikPlease note that this is the final part of my quantitative six month superhero census. To read it from the beginning, see Sex, Race, and Sexual Orientation in the Justice League (Part 1 of the Six Month Superhero Census).

Also, please note that the following information is part of a larger year-long superhero census. This data is only reflective of X-Men comics (all ongoing titles, one-shots, and miniseries) released from January to June of 2012. The real world data is taken from the 2010 U.S. Census and the William’s Institute’s  “How Many People are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender?” by Gary J. Gates.

Superhero Census: Sex, Race, and Sexual Orientation in X-Men

Click to enlarge

The X-Men’s Sex Composition

Hope, Primal, Oya (Idie), Velocidad, and Transonic as Generation Hope

Generation Hope

As you can see, the X-Men actually comes close to giving equal representation to men and women.  The X-Men are 47.1% female compared to the national 50.8%. Of the Justice League, Avengers, and X-Men, the latter is the only team which even comes close.

Not only do the X-Men have a higher percentage of female members than the other teams, but I was also excited to see five different X-Men books featuring teams with female leaders: Hope in Generation Hope, Rogue in X-Men Legacy, Storm in X-Men, Dani Moonstar in New Mutants, and Kitty Pryde in Ultimate Comics X-Men. (Please note that the census data does not reflect X-Men members appearing in or which are members of teams featured in Ultimate Comics X-Men, X-Force, or X-Factor as these books revolve around teams of former X-Men members).

The X-Men’s LGB Members

Northstar's same sex marriage

Astonishing X-Men #51

Like the Avengers, the X-Men actually have a higher percentage of LGB members (5.9%) than the estimated national average (3.5%). The five self-identifying LGB X-Men to appear in the first six months of 2012 are Anole, Bling!, Graymalkin, Karma, and Northstar. Anole and Bling! appear very little and neither had much (if any) impact on the issues they are included in. Graymalkin was primarily used to fill out backgrounds and was not given a single line to say during the entire six months.

Thankfully, Northstar and Karma have both been featured much more prominently. Karma has been doing double duty and has made semi-regular appearances in both Astonishing X-Men and New Mutants. 

Northstar (thanks to Marjorie Liu) has recently become a much larger part of the X-Men franchise and has even enjoyed a highly publicized wedding in Astonishing X-Men #51 this year.

The X-Men’s Race Composition

Danni Moonstar, Warlock, Magma, Karma, Sunspot as the New Mutants

The New Mutants

From a purely quantitative standpoint, the X-Men are actually less white than the U.S. The X-Men is 60% white compared to the national 63.7%. Their percentage of Asian, American Indian, and Native Hawaiian characters are also all higher than the U.S. demographics for each group.Where the X-Men really fall short of the nation demographics is with their black team members, Hispanic and Latino characters, and with members who are of two or more races. Their attempts to include Hispanic and Latino members is particularly pathetic as this demographic only accounts for 2.4% of the team compared to 16.3% nationally.

However, keep in mind that these results are somewhat skewed by the huge 16.5% of the X-Men that do not clearly belong to a real world race.

Conclusion

Cyclops, Beast, Wolverine, Emma Frost, and Kitty Pryde as the Astonishing X-Men

For the most part, the X-Men did better than the Avengers or the Justice League. They had the highest percentage of women, LGB, Hispanic or Latino, Asian, American Indian or Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander members. Sadly, they also exhibited the lowest percentage of black members.

Justice League, Avengers, and X-Men Census on Sex, Race, and LGB Inclusion

The Six Months Census Results for the Justice League, Avengers, and X-Men (Click to Enlarge)

Overall when looking at the data from all three teams, it’s quite easy to notice which groups are least represented. I wasn’t surprised to find low numbers within the groups that make up a relative small percentage of the U.S. population (such as Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander). But, what I wasn’t prepared for was just how under-represented Hispanic and Latino people are. Out of the 210 superheroes included in this census, only four are Hispanic or Latino: Reptil, White Tiger, Velocidad, and Sunspot.

Make sure to check back in January for the complete results of the 2012 superhero census featuring the Justice League, Avengers, and X-Men!

What’s your reaction to the data? Did you find any of the demographics surprising? Comment and let us know, I’d love to hear your take on it!

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1 Response to “Sex, Race, and Sexual Orientation in the X-Men (Part 3 of the Six Month Superhero Census)”


  1. 1 geekalitarian October 9, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    I had a feeling that the X-Men would have generally more balanced demographics than other superteams, and I’m really glad you collected this data. I look forward to seeing the results for the rest of 2012!


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