Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
OK, that is a deliberately provocative title. But there’s a new Gallup poll about LGBT self-identification in the US and the results are alarming for a traditionalist like myself, with an unexpected twist. The title of this post is intended as a homage to Robert Bork’s terrific Slouching Towards Gomorrah, published in 1996. I highly recommend the book, which is available online free (here), though I can’t vouch for the copyright legitimacy of this version. I have it in my Audible library.
Onto the data and graphics. The latest Gallup poll, released this week but reporting polling data from 2020 (here), reports an increase in LGBT self-identification to 5.6%. The prior reported figure, from 2017 (here), was 4.5%. That’s an increase of about 24% since 2017. Here’s how it breaks down by age cohort:
The red line shows the 2020 Gallup data. As you can see, it follows a “hockey stick” pattern, with a substantial and accelerating increase in overall LGBT self-identification among the younger age cohorts.
The orange and blue lines show the same results for 2017 and 2012, respectively. Interestingly, LGBT identification has declined a bit in the older cohorts, shows a slight increase in Gen X, and shows large increases in the younger two age cohorts. There are no results reported for Gen Z prior to 2020, as they were not yet adults.
Note that Gallup has slightly tweaked the cutoff points for some of the age cohorts. A person born in 1980 was considered a Gen X-er in 2017, but is now classified as a Millennial. A person born in 1997-1999 was considered a Millennial in 2017, but is now classified in Gen Z. I don’t think that these minor changes have a significant effect on the results.
In a post in October 2019 (here), I did a more detailed analysis of LGBT self-identification by age, based on smaller age cohorts (five-year intervals). The data fit a cubic function quite well. Here is the graph from my 2019 post, based on data from 2017:
This model indicated a prevalence of LGBT identification that was rapidly increasing, and was around 12% for 18-year-olds — meaning people who were 18 years old in 2017. This is quite consistent with the latest Gallup data from 2020, showing that 15.9% of Americans in Gen Z — aged 18-23 in 2020 — self-identify as LGBT.
So the recent Gallup data confirms my prior conclusions. It is quite inconsistent with the arguments that LGBT individuals are “born that way” or that these characteristics are “immutable.”
The 2020 Gallup data, however, includes a helpful breakdown of the subcategories of LGBT identification, reporting self-identification for five subcategories: bisexual; gay (i.e. male homosexual); lesbian (i.e. female homosexual); transgender; and “other” (whatever that might mean). Here is a graph of this breakdown in 2020:
As you can see, the bulk of the increase occurs in the bisexual category (red line), with a notable increase in the transgender category (blue line).
The most consistent subcategory across generations is male homosexuality (orange line), which shows a small increase in the younger age cohorts. Note that the number of male homosexuals in the older age cohorts — especially the Boomers — is probably an understatement of the total rate of male homosexuality in these cohorts, as I suspect that AIDS resulted in the early death of a significant number of men in this category.
In percentage terms, the largest increases in LGBT identification between age cohorts are:
- Bisexual identification increased 500% between the Boomers and Gen X
- Bisexual identification increased a further 183% between Gen X and the Millennials, and yet another 125% between the Millennials and Gen Z
- Transgender identification increased 500% between Gen X and the Millennials, and another 50% between the Millennials and Gen Z
- Male homosexual identification increased 67% between Gen X and the Millennials, then increased only 5% further between the Millennials and Gen Z
- Female homosexual identification increased 75% between the Boomers and Gen X, another 14% between Gen X and the Millennials, and another 75% between the Millennials and Gen Z
I find this to be interesting information. The bulk of Americans identifying as LGBT are bisexual. Overall, about 55% of LGBT adults are bisexual. This trend is most pronounced among Gen Z, among which about 67% of LGBT individuals are bisexual.
A final observation is the sex differentials in the bisexual category. The latest Gallup report provides limited information on this, reporting that for the entire population, 4.3% of women and 1.8% of men identify as bisexual. This suggests that about 70% of bisexuals are women. The report does not provide information on sex differences in bisexual identification by age cohort.
I’ll do my best to answer any questions that you might have about this updated information, and I’m interested in your comments about the cultural and policy implications of these demographics.
Wokeism delenda est.Published in