Although recent surveys have found a dramatic increase in the number of people who identify as LGBT, much of that increase can be explained by political and cultural influences rather than actual LGBT behavior, according to a report by the Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology (CSPI).
“I hypothesize that a more sexually liberal and modernist culture, one which values difference, best accounts for the new trend,” wrote Eric Kaufmann, the report’s author. Kaufmann is professor of politics at Birkbeck College, University of London; and a CSPI research fellow. “At least two-thirds of the increase in LGBT identity is among those whose sexual behavior is heterosexual.”
In fact, while sexual attitudes and sexual behavior were closely correlated back in 2008, “by 2021 LGBT identification was running at twice the rate of LGBT sexual behavior,” the report stated.
The findings indicated that the biggest contributor to young people’s increasing identification as LGBT is the way “the new liberal culture has encouraged individuals with conventional heterosexual behavior to identify as LGBT.”
Although the increase in LGBT identification has coincided with the increase of people with no religion or who never attend church, the report was unable to conclude that religious decline has been the key factor.
Left-wing or very liberal Americans are significantly more likely to identify as LGBT than moderates and conservatives. “Something in the psychology of identifying with, rather than behaving as, LGBT is linked to the psychology of identifying as very liberal,” the report noted.
And both of those groups—those who are considered very liberal and those who identify as LGBT—are more anxious and depressed than others. The report suggested that some of the mental health problems associated with these groups have been affected by “a new left-modernist culture” that “values transgressing social boundaries while valorizing vulnerability and victimhood.”
The report also found that although LGBT identification is continuing to increase, transgenderism peaked in 2020 and actually declined somewhat in 2021.
The report’s findings came from analyzing the results of a number of recent surveys, including Gallup polls, the General Social Survey, surveys from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, and the Cooperative Congressional Election Survey; as well as data from the Centers for Disease Control.