Posts Tagged ‘Sexual Revolution’

The LGBT identity explosion

June 7, 2022

An estimated 20 percent of Americans under 30 identify as LGBT.   That’s roughly double the percentage of the previous generation.

Now this could be an exaggeration.  Also,  sexual identity is changing at a faster rate than actual sexual behavior.  But the trend is clear.

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LGBT identity is celebrated by almost every major institution in society, so it shouldn’t be surprising that LGBT identity is becoming more popular.

Strangely, many people who only engage in heterosexual sex still identify as LGBT.  Most of the increase is in the B for bisexual category.  You can live the life of a straight cisgender person, and still call yourself a “B.”  Make of this what you will.

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A study of the rise of LGBT identity by Eric Kaufmann has just been published by the Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology.  Here is his executive summary.

  • The last decade has seen a precipitous rise in the share of Americans identifying as LGBT, particularly among the youngest adults. Today, among those under 30, a wide range of surveys converge on a number of around 20 percent.
  • Government data from Canada and the UK indicate that surveys might be overestimating the extent of the rise in LGBT identity. This caveat must be kept in mind in understanding this report.  Nonetheless, these government sources indicate that the trend is real, even if less reliable surveys might exaggerate it. The UK’s Office for National Statistics finds that 7.6 percent of those 16-24 identify as LGBT, which can be taken as a low-end estimate for that country.
  • The most popular LGBT identity is bisexual, which is significantly more common among women than men.
  • When we look at homosexual behavior, we find that it has grown much less rapidly than LGBT identification.  Men and women under 30 who reported a sexual partner in the last five years dropped from around 96 percent exclusively heterosexual in the 1990s to 92 percent exclusively heterosexual in 2021.  Whereas in 2008 attitudes and behavior were similar, by 2021 LGBT identification was running at twice the rate of LGBT sexual behavior.
  • The author provides a high-point estimate of an 11-point increase in LGBT identity between 2008 and 2021 among Americans under 30.  Of that, around 4 points can be explained by an increase in same-sex behavior.  The majority of the increase in LGBT identity can be traced to how those who only engage in heterosexual behavior describe themselves.
  • Very liberal ideology is associated with identifying as LGBT among those with heterosexual behavior, especially women.  It seems that an underlying psychological disposition is inclining people with heterosexual behavior to identify both as LGBT and very liberal. The most liberal respondents have moved from 10-15 percent non-heterosexual identification in 2016 to 33 percent in 2021. Other ideological groups are more stable.

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The younger generation and the decline of sex

February 9, 2022

Back in 2020, the conservative Christian writer Rod Dreher wrote a blog post deploring the growing lack of interest by young American women in marriage, children and heterosexual sex.

A blogger who called himself the Flaming Eyeball then wrote a blog post saying Dreher didn’t tell the half of it.  He linked to a series of article depicting a younger generation ravaged by poor physical and mental health, declining testosterone in young men, and loss of interest in dating, marriage, having children and in sex itself.  

A short time late he suspended his blog, but another blogger had taken the trouble to copy it.  

None of the trends he mentioned are new to me, and he didn’t even get into the topics of Internet addiction, pornography addiction and addiction to prescription drugs.  But getting all this information at one time in one post made me stop and think.

I’m hard-put to think of a single factor that would explain all of this.  It would have to explain not only rejection of old-time moral standards, but the general apathy and listlessness.

Has the decline of religion and traditional values left the new generations with a lack of purpose?  Do some people find a complete freedom of choice too much to deal with?  How much is due to addictions?

Or is there a general sense of hopelessness in the face of new existential threats to humanity—the new four horsemen of the apocalypse, famine, pestilence, nuclear war and global warming?

Or is there some insidious biochemical change in the environment, akin to lead poisoning?

I am re-posting the Flaming Eyeball links and summarizing their contents.  My goal is to create a second archive of this information, and to invite comments.  

Please let me know whether you think this is real, what you think the reason might be and what, if anything, might be a solution.

No Families, No Children, No Future by Rod Dreher for The American Conservative (2020)

There are more unmarried women in the United States than married women.  Fertility rates are at a 35-year low.  Thirty percent of American women under age 25 identify as LGBT.

The Kids Are Not Alright by the Flaming Eyeball (hat tip to Nikolai Vladivostock), saved by Eddie Willers on Anodyne Mendacity (2021). 

Flaming Eyeball said he’s a Zoomer university student, fairly successful and not an incel (involuntary celibate).  But he said a disturbingly large fraction of the guys he met in high school and college seldom or never went on dates, experienced sex or had girlfriends.  He thinks something must be going on.  So he did some research, the results of which follow.

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Rod Dreher and the Benedict Option

July 20, 2018

Conservative American Christians have lost the culture war, according to Rod Dreher.  While the United States may have a Christian veneer, American society is not based on Christian values.  True Christians are becoming a minority group.

Dreher’s best-selling book, THE BENEDICT OPTION: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation (2017), is about how Christians can survive and thrive as a minority.

American society is being shaped, or rather dissolved, by what the sociologist Zygmunt Bauman called “liquid modernity,” Dreher wrote.   There are no stable structures—political, economic, social or moral.  Everything is changing, so nobody can commit to a fixed role or even a fixed identity.

The result, according to Dreher, is moral disintegration.  Some 41 percent of American babies are born out of wedlock.  Pornography is everywhere.  Materialism and consumerism prevail.  The educational system is geared toward teaching how to achieve personal economic success, and nothing more.

The election of “someone as robustly vulgar, fiercely combative and morally compromised” as Donald Trump is not a solution to American’s moral decline, Dreher wrote, but a symptom of it.

The churches by and large do not resist this because they have been hollowed out.  He said this is true not only of the liberal churches (which he mostly ignores), but Evangelicals and Catholics.  Few young people have any understanding of the religious doctrines they supposedly believe in.

The prevailing implicit religion is what another sociologist, Christian Smith, called moralistic therapeutic deism—his term for what he found to be prevailing beliefs among young 21st century Americans.

Its tenets are (1) God created you, (2) God wants you to be a nice person, (3) the main goal in life is to be happy and feel good about yourself, (4) you can call on God when you have a problem and (5) good people go to heaven.

The problem for this for Dreher is not just that it ignores basic Christian teachings, such as sin and the need for repentance, and the need for prayer and worship.

It is the absence of understanding that there is a social order, a natural order and a supernatural order of which the individual is only a part, and that individuals cannot flourish if they cut themselves off from the order of things.

Dreher wrote that Christians today need to do what Saint Benedict did at the dawn of the 6th century A.D.  Benedict withdrew from the Roman society of his day and organized a new community based on a balance of work and prayer.

The Benedictines did not withdraw from society.  Hospitality was one of their principles.  But neither did they allow themselves to be absorbed by the prevailing society.  Instead they created an alternative that, in due time, became an example to others.

Most of The Benedict Option consists of reporting on contemporary Christians who are trying to do in our time what Saint Benedict did in is.   He begins with the Monastery of Saint Benedict in Norcia, Italy, which was suppressed by Napoleon in 1810, but revived by Father Cassian Folsom, a 61-year-old American, along with others in December, 2000.

Not everybody is called on to be monks, but all Christians can learn from their practice, Dreher wrote.  Families should set aside specific days and times for prayer, Bible study and serious religious conversation, and stick to that schedule, even when inconvenient.

He interviewed Czech and Polish Christians about how they survived under Communism, not by fighting the Communist governments directly, but by manifesting an alternative to life based on materialism.

He wrote about efforts large and small by Evangelicals and Catholics in the United States to build community and preserve authentic Christianity.

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