Why Are so Many College Students Saying They're Gay?

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Human beings are social animals. We do what we see others doing. Occasionally the imitative tendency leads to mass hysteria, as large numbers of human beings convince themselves that there are witches possessing malevolent supernatural power among their friends and neighbors, that Martians have landed on earth and begun a violent takeover, or that large numbers of daycare centers are engaging in Satanic ritual abuse. Human behavior is contagious and spreads to other humans, for good as well as for ill. What societies revere and glorify, they’ll get more of. And so it is that nearly 40% of students who attend liberal arts colleges now say they’re LGBTQ, including a whopping 61% of students at Smith and fully 70% of students at Wellesley.


Long before being LGBTQ was cool, the unsavory sex researcher Alfred Kinsey claimed that 10% of the population was homosexual, but this number was wildly exaggerated. In 2015, it was estimated that about nine million Americans, or a bit under three percent of the population, were LGBTQ. What has changed in America in the last seven years to make the LGBTQ population increase, at least among students at liberal arts colleges, by over 1,300%?

The answer is clear: our society glorifies being lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer, and a group that a society glorifies will grow. This glorification is a product of the Left, and no entities are more Leftist these days than liberal arts colleges. The 40% figure comes from a report, “Diverse and Divided: A Political Demography of American Elite Students,” published by the Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology. According to a Friday article in The College Fix, the report states: “Liberal arts colleges are the least politically diverse. Many have almost no conservatives, and thus very low viewpoint diversity. But they have high sexual diversity, at nearly 40 percent LGBT.”

The Fix added that “the analyzed data also reveals that overall 23 percent of U.S. college students identify as LGBTQ—a number similar to a Gallup poll which found 20.8 percent of Generation Z identified as LGBT in February 2022. In contrast, the national average of Americans identifying as LGBT in the Gallup poll was 7.1 percent.”


So college students in general are three times more likely to say they’re homosexual than the rest of the population, which is over twice more likely to say it’s homosexual than it was in 2015. At Wellesley, 38% of students said they were homosexual in 2016, making for a 32% increase since then.

Eric Kaufmann, a Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology research fellow, says that this expansion correlates with the students’ identification with the Left: “The trend toward LGBT identification among young people, which has seen a threefold expansion since 2008, encompasses both university and non-university young people, white as well as minority. That said, those who identify as ‘very liberal’ are substantially more likely to say they are LGBT and white left-wing activists are extremely likely to do so, with some 70% of very liberal women who support shouting down offensive speakers identifying as LGBT.”

Related: A Majority Says the Transgender Movement Goes Too Far in Targeting Minors

Of course. LGBT is coolest among the far Left, so more of the far Left is LGBTQ. Kaufmann suggests that the massive numbers identifying as LGBTQ at Smith and Wellesley stem from precisely this, the desire to be part of the cool in-crowd, rather than from reality: “These are high numbers,” he says of the Smith and Wellesley data. “However, it’s important to remember that much of this lies in female bisexuality, and that over 60 percent of female bisexuals report only male sexual partners in the past five years. So much of what is going on concerns people with intermittent same-sex attraction self-labelling as LGBT.”


You want to be edgy and seen as courageous and daring? You want to gain an immediate circle of friends and get in-group status? The pathway is clear in America today with our sex-obsessed, gay-focused society and progressive sexualization of children. A society will get more of what it glorifies. Just imagine if we had a society that glorified virtue and heroism; we would suddenly find young Americans in increasing numbers becoming virtuous and heroic. Imagine if the state incentivized making people better human beings and worked on inculcating genuine strength of character rather than praising and celebrating delusion, fantasy, and perversity. If our government ever began to do that, we would in short order have a vastly different country.

But the young people who are today identifying as LGBTQ likely already think they’re heroes. For many of them, that’s why they took up the identification in the first place. We have the society the Left has made.


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