A University of London political scientist says that the increase in young people identifying as transgender and homosexual has much to do with social pressures and political ideologies.
In an interview with The College Fix, Prof. Eric Kaufmann said that many people who identify as LGBTQ are actually suffering from struggles with mental illness.
“There are two theories, that greater tolerance is allowing more to come out of the closet, or Bill Maher’s assertion that LGBT is trendy among some youth,” he said. “I think the second theory better fits the data and explains more of why the rise occurred.”
The researcher also said that though young adults identify as LGBTQ at far higher rates than older people, there hasn’t been a corresponding increase in sexual behaviors tied to those identities.
“LGBT behavior is up 4 points among young people since 2008, but LGBT identity is up 11 points,” he continued. “Among women, only around a fifth of bisexuals in 2008-10 said they only slept with men in the past 5 years. That share has risen steadily, so that it is now the case that the majority of female bisexuals only sleep with men.”
“If this was about people feeling able to come out, then we should have seen these two trends rise together,” he said. “What we find instead is that identity is rising much faster than behavior, indicating that people with occasional rather than sustained feelings of attraction to the opposite sex are increasingly identifying as LGBT.”
Kaufmann went on to provide more data and analysis in a May 30 report from the Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology, where he works as a researcher.
“Gen Z’s LGBT share rose from 9.4% in 2016 to 12.1% in 2018 to 19.8% in 2021,” the report noted, while millennials’ LGBT share rose from 7.8 percent to 10.5 percent.
“Among Gen X the numbers were more modest: 5.1% in 2012, 4.4% in 2018, and 8.8% in 2021,” it adds.
“Very liberal ideology is associated with identifying as LGBT among those with heterosexual behavior, especially women,” Kaufman’s report continued. “It seems that an underlying psychological disposition is inclining people with heterosexual behavior to identify both as LGBT and very liberal.”
The report also noted that “[v]ery liberal ideology and LGBT identification are associated with anxiety and depression in young people.”
“Very liberal young Americans are twice as likely as others to experience these problems. 27% of young Americans with anxiety or depression were LGBT in 2021,” said the report, adding: “This relationship appears to have strengthened since 2010.”
Kaufman sought to explain the link between LGBTQ identification and leftist ideology.
“I think this is because very liberal people value difference and novelty over conformity, and are thus drawn to identifying as divergent (or weird) in some way, which can include sexuality,” he said.
He also said there may be a link between liberal ideology in academia that seeks to eliminate “power structures.”
“For those in elite settings like top universities, there is also a political motivation linked to resisting oppressors or dominant power structures,” Kaufmann said. “There is also a psychological basis in that people who are higher in openness and neuroticism, and lower in conscientiousness tend to be liberal, and I believe these orientations correlate with LGBT identification.”
He then predicted that the peak in LGBTQ identification is nearing.
“There has been no peak in LGBT identification yet, but I expect it imminently because LGBT growth has mainly occurred within the very liberal part of the population, and that is a limited pool,” he said when asked about his predictions for this year. “Will be very interesting to see what the 2022 data show.”