A record 26 percent of American high school students identify as LGBTQ, according to new CDC data that a prominent political scientist says is a form of “social contagion.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, released last week, found that 3.2 percent of high school students identified as gay or lesbian, 12.1 as bisexual, 5.2 as questioning and 3.9 as “other” (which the CDC describes as a “sexual identity other than heterosexual”). The report was based on the 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System survey.
A CDC analysis of the data said the “percentage of students with a sexual identity other than heterosexual has increased steadily, from 11 percent in 2015 to 26 percent in 2021.”
Wilfred Reilly, an associate professor of political science at Kentucky State University, wrote in a National Review column that “there is simply no genetic or biological explanation for a surge like this one.” Reilly is the author of Taboo: 10 Facts You Can’t Talk About.
Although defenders of the CDC data may argue that the increase is due to “increased tolerance,” Reilly said that explanation fails due to the dramatic surge being seen only in one age group. For example, the percentage of baby boomers who identify as LGBT is 2.7 percent, he wrote.
A total of 2.4 percent of high school teens said they had sexual contact “only” with someone of the same sex. Most high school teens – 57 percent – reported having no sexual contact at all.
“If we all set politics aside and simply look at the data, it seems empirically obvious that the best explanation for today’s patterns of sexual identification is what my fellow big-domes often call social contagion,” Reilly wrote.
Identifying as LGBTQ, he asserted, is the latest trend.
“This is … something our society and others witnessed during the growth of the great youth ‘scenes’ such as goth and rave, the spread of negative social trends like anorexia, and even the post-1960s popularization and acceptance of teen sex itself,” Reilly wrote. Reilly added, “When multiple major left-wing organizations use the ‘progressive stack’ ranking of victimization to decide which speakers to prioritize … it isn’t hard to see why students and other young people, when given the option to move away from mundane middle-class white status and identify as something à la ‘enby x ace’ … often do so.”
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Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.