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(LifeSiteNews) — “Non-binary” identification among New Jersey public school students spiked by over 4,000% since 2019, The Washington Free Beacon reported. The report bolsters evidence that transgenderism and “non-binary” identification has become a social trend and is not an innate reality.

While just 16 students claimed to be “non-binary” during the 2019-2020 school year, that number rose to a staggering 675 by the 2022-2023 school year, according to New Jersey Department of Education enrollment data. 

Forty-one of the 675 are reportedly elementary school students.

Erika Sanzi, director of outreach at Parents Defending Education, a nonprofit parental rights group, told the Free Beacon the jump reflects the fact that divergent gender identification has become a “social contagion.”

“These numbers aren’t surprising to anyone who has been following the massive social contagion of adopting different gender identities, especially among adolescent girls,” Sanzi said.

Conservatives have vocally raised the alarm about the “social contagion” element of transgender and “non-binary” identification in recent years, noting that social media use among young people and the adulation for divergent “gender identities” has triggered the astronomical rise in children and young people claiming not to identify with their own sex.

RELATED: LGBT identification is largely driven by social media influence and peer pressure

Even Dr. Marci Bowers, president of the radical World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), which sets the standards of care for gender clinics nationwide, recently acknowledged that transgender identification has become trendy.

“There are people in my community who will deny that there’s any sort of ‘social contagion’ — I shouldn’t say social contagion, but at least peer influence on some of these decisions,” Bowers, a man who claims to be a woman, told The New York Times in January. “I think that’s just not recognizing human behavior.” 

Similarly, Dr. Erica Anderson, a clinical psychologist who also claims to be a woman despite being male, questioned why transgender identification in children is treated as “the only area of development in adolescence that is immune from peer influence?”  

Moreover, available data suggests LGBT identification is strongly stratified by generation.

Data published by prominent polling company Gallup indicates that nearly one in five Generation Z adults between the ages of 18 and 25 identify as LGBT compared with 11.2% of millennials and just 3.3% of older adults.

RELATED: President of trans organization admits that social contagion is behind spike in trans-identifying youth

LifeSiteNews has extensively reported that the rise in transgender identification among children has gone hand-in-hand with the normalization of LGBT ideology in the culture and the classroom.

Young children in classrooms nationwide have been actively being encouraged to adopt “transgender,” “gender-fluid,” or “non-binary” identities. Transgender identification among children has risen sharply in recent years, and the rates of surgical mutilation for minors have risen astronomically.

The phenomenon has triggered backlash from parents and conservative lawmakers, who have worked at the grassroots and legislative levels to pull sexually explicit and pro-LGBT curricula and materials from classrooms and school libraries, protect girls’ sports and spaces, and ban sexualized performances targeting children. 

An earlier version of this article was missing a percentage sign in the first paragraph. LifeSiteNews regrets the error.