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New analysis corroborates social contagion of LGBT identities among young Americans

A Gallup poll published in February, indicating that nearly 21% of younger adults in the United States identify as LGBT, double since 2020, raised suspicions that there is a social contagion of these self-identifications in this age group, uncoupled from genuine spontaneous elements of their intimacy. Now those suspicions have gained corroboration from a new analysis by Eric Kauffman, professor of political science at Birkbeck College, University of London, and member of the executive board of the Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology (CSPI), where the analysis was published in Monday (30).

The phenomenon dates from the last decade. In the general American population, LGBT people jumped from 5.6% in 2020 to 7.1% in

. The number is double that measured in 2013. A high-quality alternative source, the General Social Survey (GSS), concurs with Gallup’s findings: LGBT Americans were 4% in 2013 to 7.6% in 2017; com 19, 8% of younger adults say they are LGBT. Science still does not have a complete answer as to what the expected proportion would be without social influences, but a large paper by 2013 suggests that the estimate of 5 % of non-heterosexuals in the general population would be “generous”. Among university students, specifically, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) indicates that the self-styled LGBT reached more than a quarter of them in 2017.

Eric Kauffman considers three hypotheses in his report:

  1. Being LGBT, as well as being left-handedness, is an expression of human physiological diversity that until recently had been repressed by social norms. The increase comes from the relaxation of these norms.
  2. The increase comes from experimentation by young people, it is just a phase and they will return to the previous identification when they get older.
  3. Alternative sexual identities are increasing by social contagion (an imitation that takes place through various social incentives), which occurs especially over the internet with the participation of educational and medical institutions.

Hypotheses 1 and 3 are favored by the analysis. To understand them, it is necessary to differentiate behavior LGBT from identities LGBT, because imitations are more related to self-identifications than to actual sexual behavior.

Evidence of social contagion and influence of ideology

The flagship of contagion is bisexual self-identification among young women: % say they are bisexual and 5% lesbian. However, things change when the behavior is investigated. Only 7% of them had an experience with someone of the same sex in the previous year. Almost 38% of the so-called lesbians or bisexuals only had men as sexual partners in the 12 months preceding the survey. Among boys who say they are gay or bisexual, this number is 38%, increasing from % in the previous decade. If it were just a matter of coming out, the number of gay or bisexual guys who only had sex with women in the previous year would have dropped, not increased. Even among men, therefore, there is a decoupling between behavior and self-identification.

“Much of the increase occurred among very progressive or extreme left-wing young people”, comments the researcher. The sign of political motivation is especially among white and college-educated youth. Among Americans younger than 38 years old, 22% of progressives say they are LGBT, compared to 9% of conservatives. In FIRE data, 49 % of ‘very progressive’ university students say they are LGBT, compared to 5% of the ‘very conservative’.

The wave of “transgenders”, which in the last decade has alarming increases ranging from 1,000 percent in the United States to 1500% in Sweden and up to 4000% in the UK, concentrates in young females (contrary to what it was in the past, in which most transsexuals were male) seems to have fallen between 2020 and 2021. But it is noteworthy that many of these young people do not understand the “T” as “transsexual” (people diagnosed with dysphoria who seek to change their expression to the opposite sex), but as “transgender”, a term that accepts postmodern theoretical fabrications. and even mystics. A young transgender man seen in consultation with transgender psychologist Erica Anderson by the Los Angeles Times says gender has “multiple dimensions” and that he has a friend who identifies with the “chaotic vibrations of a raccoon in a dumpster.” Serious internet sites make gigantic lists of “gender identities” like “beach gender” and “cute gender”, each with its own flag. The abandonment of the “sex” aspect in favor of “gender” often comes with a paradoxical request by these young people to take sexual hormones ), which contradicts its supposed distinction between sex and gender.

Last month, for the first time, the IBGE published an estimate of the frequency of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals in Brazil : less than 2%. The number is within or a little lower than expected according to previous surveys in several countries, which indicates that a fraction of sexuality minorities in Brazil still do not publicly identify themselves as such. Here, therefore, if there is a social contagion of LGBT identities, it should be more concentrated in cultural pockets of more educated and affluent young people, more in contact with the English-speaking culture.

Uganda threatens to kill gays, but asks for evidence

In

, Uganda, a country in Africa, made international headlines for a proposed law that would toughen the criminalization of homosexuality. The bill, called the Anti-Homosexuality Act, provided for life imprisonment and even the death penalty for what it called “aggravated homosexuality”, which consisted of having sex with individuals below

years of the same sex, among other aggravating factors such as being infected with HIV.

In December 2013, after amendments that removed the death penalty but maintained life imprisonment, the Act Anti-Homosexuality was passed in parliament. President Yoweri Museveni, who has ruled the country since 1986, passed the law in February 2014. The United States imposed sanctions on Uganda in June of that year because of the law, and the World Bank postponed a loan of 49 million dollars. Many Christians, including the Archbishop of Canterbury of the Church of England, to which Museveni is faithful, opposed the act. After the country’s Constitutional Court struck down the law in August 2014 for having been passed in the absence of a minimum quorum, Museveni himself would have instructed its supporters not to appeal because of international retaliation. Homosexuality remains illegal in Uganda.

Ten days before signing the law, Museveni announced that he would pass it after hearing “medical experts” who said that “homosexuality is not genetic, but social behavior”. Days later, he withdrew what he said after a criticism by former President Barack Obama and asked for advice from American scientists.

In a statement published in

February 2014 , the Ugandan president says he agrees that the promotion of homosexuality “should be criminalized because the British had already done that”, but who has a point of disagreement with some of the parliamentarians “about the people I think were born homosexual”. “I therefore encourage the US government to help us by working with our scientists who are studying whether, in fact, there are people who were born homosexual. When this is proven, we can review this legislation”, concludes Museveni.

In response to Museveni, but from 200 scientists signed a statement that says that while the causes of homosexuality are only partially understood, “sexual orientation is not a matter of choice”, nor is it a mental illness; and that emerges spontaneously, has neurobiological correlates and is observed in other species, such as sheep.

One of the signatories, the psychologist and behavioral geneticist J. Michael Bailey, who teaches at the Northwest USA, is the first author of a more detailed answer published at 2017 in the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest.

There is no social contagion of attraction

The article by Bailey et al. draws attention not only for its detail, but also for the absence of inflammatory rhetoric. Popular beliefs shared by Museveni, such as that homosexuality can be passed on as “recruitment” of minors, are taken seriously.

“The most significant controversy through the ages and places is about the extent to which homosexuality is socially influenced and, more specifically, whether or not it can spread as a result of contagion and social tolerance,” the article reads. “There is no good evidence that either [contágio ou tolerância] increases the incidence of homosexual orientation, although tolerance may facilitate the behavioral expression of homosexual desire.” That is, scientists do not have convincing evidence that spontaneous desire for people of the same sex can change according to external influence, including social contagion.

The social contagion of identities and self-identifications LGBT that is now observed is part of a new phenomenon, and its consideration should not be confused with old prejudiced beliefs about origin of homosexuals. It is, in fact, the result of an excessive success in defending the group, as it attracts young people who do not have intimate elements. that would make them genuine LGBTs—who have a complex combination of genetic variants and hormonal influences on development with unchosen environmental influences—creating a new inauthenticity problem similar to the old closet — a state of detachment from the reality of what one really is, not very conducive to happiness.

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