The number of students who identify as LGBTQI+ at Brown University has almost tripled between 2010 and 2023, standing at just under 40% of the total enrollment. Other sexual orientations have also increased over the same period, but some observers are countering that the rise is driven by social pressures. Research has found that young people within Brown University may be experiencing “rapid-onset gender dysphoria,” and the increasing figures aren’t due to people feeling more comfortable “coming out.” Instead some research shows a large amount of people identifying with the LGBTQI+ community are just conforming to the community due to pressures amongst the student body, and educational figures, and haven’t in fact changed their preference of a partner.
By Simon Kent; July 10, 2023
The number of students who identify as LGBTQI+ at Brown University stands at just under 40% of the total enrollment, the institution’s Brown Daily Herald reports.
Latest data outlines between 2010 and 2023, identification as LGBTQI+ has almost tripled among the student body at the Providence, Rhode Island, university (from 14 percent in 2010 saying they were not heterosexual to 38 percent now).
“The Herald’s Spring 2023 poll found that 38% of students do not identify as straight — over five times the national rate ,” student newspaper reported. “Over the past decade, LGBTQ+ identification has increased across the nation, with especially sharp growth at Brown.”
Other sexual orientations have also increased over the same period at the seventh-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, with some observers countering the rise is driven by social pressures rather than sexual choices and noting bisexual identification outstrips bisexual sexual activity.
“Since Fall 2010, Brown’s LGBTQ+ population has expanded considerably. The gay or lesbian population has increased by 26% and the percentage of students identifying as bisexual has increased by 232%,” the student newspaper reported. “Students identifying as other sexual orientations within the LGBTQ+ community have increased by 793%.”
The Washington Examiner reports the 38% identification tracks with research from the Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology, which found similar levels among elite colleges.
The researcher on that project, Eric Kaufmann, noted in comments to the College Fix that his research has found sexual behavior has not kept pace with the identification.
“If this was about people feeling able to come out, then we should have seen these two trends rise together,” he told the College Fix.
“What we find instead is that identity is rising much faster than behavior, indicating that people with occasional rather than sustained feelings of attraction to the opposite sex are increasingly identifying as LGBT.”
Brown University has previously been in the public eye in matters of gender.
As Breitbart News reported, in 2018 it censored a research paper on gender dysphoria from its website after it sparked a backlash from the LGBTQI+ community.
A research paper was published by Brown University School of Public Health Professor Lisa Littman about a trend amongst teenagers involving gender dysphoria. The piece contended young people are experiencing “rapid-onset gender dysphoria.”
In on-line forums, parents have been reporting that their children are experiencing what is described here as “rapid-onset gender dysphoria,” appearing for the first time during puberty or even after its completion. The onset of gender dysphoria seemed to occur in the context of belonging to a peer group where one, multiple, or even all of the friends have become gender dysphoric and transgender-identified during the same timeframe. Parents also report that their children exhibited an increase in social media/internet use prior to disclosure of a transgender identity. The purpose of this study was to document and explore these observations and describe the resulting presentation of gender dysphoria, which is inconsistent with existing research literature.
The paper further suggested the use of social media sites like YouTube and Tumblr have been a precursor to large swaths of young people claiming they have a unique gender identity.
Brown University removed the paper from the university website in an act of academic censorship after it sparked concerns publication could impact transgender individuals.
In a statement, the university announced the paper would be removed because they feared it would be used to discredit efforts to support transgender youth.