Over the past decade Israel has experienced dramatic change in the legitimization of same-sex relationships. In recent years the LGBT social movement has succeeded in mobilizing public support not only for the rights and well-being of adults, but also for the younger generation–LGBT youth. Using a large-scale survey of the Israeli LGBT community (N = 2,853), we explore two theoretical theses that are commonly used in research on LGBT youth. The first thesis, Cohort thesis, claims that LGBT youth today are different from previous cohorts and are more like other youth, regardless of sexual orientation. This thesis is reflected in the work of Savin-Williams (2005) and is also known as the New Gay Teenager hypothesis. In contrast, the Ageing thesis claims that LGBT youth today face experiences similar to their counterparts in the past, and thus they are still considered to be high-risk youth with special needs in terms of social services. This thesis explains differences between age-groups within the framework of ageing. We analyzed self-reported needs and preferences for social services across three cohorts: youngest (born after 1985); intermediate (born 1979–1985) and oldest (born before 1979). The main difference between cohorts is that respondents who were young adults during the 2000s (born after 1985) are more inclined to be engaged and involved within the LGBT community than other respondents (born before 1985). This finding is consistent with the Ageing thesis rather than with the Cohort thesis. We argue that the New Gay Teenager hypothesis can not be generalized to the Israeli case. We conclude the article with policy implications for targeted services to LGBT youth and with suggestions for further research.
- LGBT youth
- Same-sex relationships