Commentary: The Political Divide Among High Schoolers

by Brayden Dean


It is popularly held that the younger generations are becoming increasingly liberal while conservatives dominate the older demographics. While this tends to be true, a recent survey conducted on seniors in high school demonstrates nuances.

The University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future survey found that young girls are driving the youthful push toward liberalism, while boys are increasingly becoming far more likely to identify as conservative.

The survey found that only 13 percent of 12th-grade boys identified as “liberal” or “very liberal.” In contrast, nearly a quarter of high school boys identified as “conservative” or “very conservative,” up from 16 percent just 20 years ago. Meanwhile, only 12 percent of girls identified as conservative, and nearly 30 percent identified as “liberal” or “very liberal.”

Unsurprisingly, most of the younger generation is inclined to say that they are moderate or unaffiliated. Around 43 percent of young men (18–29) identify as moderate, according to the Survey Center on American Life.

One possible reason is the stark divide among young Americans concerning the treatment of men and women. Around 48 percent of young men say that society treats men better than women, compared to 72 percent of young women who say the same. Only 44 percent of women say they are satisfied with the treatment of women, down from 61 percent in 2016. Around 72 percent of women say they favor affirmative action programs for women, and only 33 percent believe they have the same job opportunities as men.

Such poll results could demonstrate why many young women continue a liberal trend that tends to preach a similar message.

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Brayden Dean is a rising senior at the University of Georgia. He studies international relations and political science with a minor in law, jurisprudence, and state. A member of The American Spectator’s intern class of 2023, Brayden enjoys sipping a hot cup of coffee while reading a book.




Appeared at and reprinted from The American Spectator

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