It is gratifying to see that a shift in public attitudes means that more Americans support marriage equality than oppose it. This would be better news if the figures weren’t ~50% in favour, ~46% against; there is still a long way to go.
It looks like a willy. Let’s all giggle and get it out of our systems.
It looks exactly like a cock.
The reason it looks like a cock is due to a spike in opposition–in combination with a decline in support–around 2004. This statistical trend just happens to make the rest of the graph, where the trend holds fairly steady, look like a bellend.
What happened in 2004 to create the bellend?
It could be that in 2004, pollsters began asking the question differently: how a question is asked will have a great impact on what the answer is. As this graph combines data from several surveys, however, it seems that something else is contributing to The Bellend Effect: the effect of question framing declines when synthesising results from several sources.
2004 was a big year for same sex marriage in the States. Same sex marriage was briefly legal in San Francisco, theorised to be an entirely politically-motivated PR stunt. In Massachusetts, too, same sex marriage was legal.
The conservative Right lashed out, and referenda were launched in Massachusetts to overturn the marriage. In San Francisco, it was doubtful as to whether the marriages were ever legal in the first place.
In the face of all of the rhetoric in launching referenda, in combination with a huge, all-pervasive right-wing media, is it any surprised that The Bellend Effect occurred? In 2004, Americans were bombarded with propaganda informing them that marriage was only for heterosexuals.
The Bellend Effect, therefore, reflects the success of the right in affecting public opinion.
Due to this, I will now call right-wing propagandists bellends.