top of page
  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Born which way?

LGBT is becoming a social and political identity rather than a sexual identity for many young people, writes Eric Kaufmann in a Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology analysis.

“The last decade has seen a precipitous rise in the share of Americans identifying as LGBT, particularly among the youngest adults,” he writes. A wide range of surveys estimate that about 20 percent of those under 30 identify as LGBT.

Surveys produce much higher LGBT numbers than government data from Canada and Britain, notes Kaufmann, a professor of politics at the University of London’s Birkbeck College. But the trend — more young people say they’re LGBT — is real. The greatest increase has come in women declaring themselves bisexual.

What’s odd is that “the youthful surge is mainly about LGBT identity, with considerably less change in sexual behavior.”

More people are engaging in same-sex behavior, he writes, but twice as many are identifying as LGBT while maintaining exclusively heterosexual relationships.

People who have heterosexual sex, but identify as LGBT tend to be very liberal politically, especially among women, he writes. “The most liberal respondents have moved from 10-15% non-heterosexual identification in 2016 to 33% in 2021. Other ideological groups are more stable.”

They also tend to suffer from anxiety and depression: 27% of young Americans with anxiety or depression were LGBT in 2021. “Among young people, mental health problems, liberal ideology, and LGBT identity are strongly correlated,” concludes Kaufmann.

“Between 2010 and 2020, the US recorded a 1,000% jump in the share of teenagers identifying as trans,” Kaufmann found. However, “various data sources indicate that gender nonconformity – trans and non-binary identity – reached its peak in the last few years and has started to decline.”

Via Andrew Sullivan, who was gay before it was fashionable.

8 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page