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25 Percent of High School Students are Gay, Bisexual, or Questioning

The CDC’s yearly youth report found that around a quarter of high school students identify as gay, bisexual, or have a more fluid sexuality. This compares to just 75.5 percent of 14 to 18-year-olds said they were heterosexual in 2021—a new low.

The remainder said they were either bisexual (12.1 percent), gay or lesbian (3.2 percent), “other” (3.9 percent) or said they “questioned” their sexuality (5.2 percent). The percentage of students who do not view themselves as straight has more than doubled in recent years—from 11 percent in 2015 to 24.5 percent in 2021.

Rates of alternate sexualities in school-aged children are much higher than the adult population—where about seven percent are gay, bisexual, or other. Experts say the explosion in alternative sexualities among children can be partly attributed to increased acceptance. Dr. Mollie Blackburn, who teaches sexuality studies at Ohio State University, said: “It's an increase in acceptance from both parents and society. [Accepting people] creates a context where a child will be more willing to say that they are gay.”

But Jay Richard, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, said the rise of gender studies in American schools in recent years was partly behind the rise. “There is no doubt in my mind that schools are absolutely playing a role in this growth.” In recent years, some schools have begun teaching sex education as young as second grade.

Richard also claimed the increased political focus on social justice was incentivizing children to say they were not heterosexual, to seem “less plain. ... There are social incentives to declaring yourself a sexual minority. There is nothing you have to do to be bisexual. You just wanna make yourself cooler.”


Mansur Shaheen, “Record one in FOUR high school students say they are gay, bisexual or 'questioning' their sexuality,” Daily Mail (4-27-23)

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