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Today's teens at least twice as likely as American adults to identify as LGBT or atheist, study says

Today's teenagers are at least twice as likely as American adults to identify as LGBT or atheist, a Barna study found. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

Today's teenagers are at least twice as likely as American adults to identify as LGBT or atheist, Christianity Today reported.

The magazine cited a new Barna study on Generation Z — the 70 million kids born between 1999 and 2015 — which found that 12 percent of Gen Z teens described their sexual orientation as non-heterosexual, with 7 percent identifying as bisexual.

In contrast, a Gallup poll this month reported that only 4.1 percent of American adults — and 7.3 percent of millennials (those born between 1984 and 1998) — identify as LGBT.

What else did the study find?

  • Generation Z members are more sensitive to LGBT issues, Christianity Today reported, with 37 percent saying their gender and sexuality is “very important” to their sense of self; 28 percent of their Generation X parents agreed, the magazine said.
  • About a third of teens know someone who is transgender, and most (69 percent) say it’s OK to be born one gender and feel like another gender, Christianity Today said.
  • 13 percent of Generation Z members between 13 and 18 years old consider themselves atheists compared to just 6 percent of adults, the outlet reported.
  • 59 percent of Generation Z members identify as Christian compared to 68 percent of adults.
  • But only one of every 11 teens is considered an “engaged Christian,” the magazine said, citing the Barna study — as opposed to a “Christian in name only."
  • One out of five teens in the Barna study imagine Christianity as negative and judgmental, the magazine added.
  • Some of the biggest belief barriers are the problem of evil (29 percent), perceived hypocrisy among Christians (23 percent) and the conflict between science and Scripture (20 percent), Christianity Today said.
  • Generation Z members are less likely than older generations to see science and the Bible as complementary, the magazine added.

How about "screen time" for Gen Z?

  • As you might expect, more than half (57 percent) are on their devices four or more hours a day — and more than a quarter (26 percent) are on them eight or more, the magazine said.
  • A Baylor University study found a connection between increased internet time and decreased religious affiliation, Christianity Today said.

What else has been said about Gen Z?

  • "Members of Generation Z hold few things dearer than acceptance and inclusivity," Pastor James Emery White writes in the 2017 book "Meet Generation Z," the magazine said. “They view many moral stances, such as opposing gay marriage, as social stances in line with racism. To them, acceptance means affirmation.”

Any good news?

  • The Barna study found that most Christian teens — 79 percent — feel comfortable sharing “honest questions, struggles, and doubts” with their parents, Christianity Today said.
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