A recent study by the University of Michigan reveals interesting trends in the political ideologies of high school seniors. According to the “Monitoring the Future” survey, twelfth-grade boys are leaning more conservative, with nearly twice as many identifying as conservative compared to liberal.
On the other hand, girls of the same age are moving overwhelmingly towards liberalism, with about 30% identifying as liberals, a significant increase from 2015.
The Influence of Left-Wing Discourse on Boys
Psychotherapist Thomas Kersting believes these shifts in political ideology go beyond mere politics. He suggests that young boys are reacting to the negative portrayal of men in recent years, with some believing that being male is associated with wrongdoing.
The focus on advancing women and minorities may also be contributing to a perceived lack of support for young males, leading some to distance themselves from liberal ideals.
Perceptions of Liberalism in 2023
Kersting notes that today’s version of liberalism is seen as “so extreme” compared to previous decades. He views conservatism as centered around faith, family, and country, with an emphasis on being protectors and providers, treating everyone with respect, including women.
However, he believes this positive aspect of conservatism is not accurately portrayed in the current political discourse.
Gender Trends Over Time
The study shows a departure from previous generations, where young men and women tended to lean left in similar numbers. In the late 2000s, the number of boys identifying as liberal was 21%, dropping to 13% in 202In contrast, the number of girls identifying as conservative has decreased over time, making up just 12% of high school seniors in the study.
The survey results highlight the evolving dynamics of political ideologies among today’s youth and the potential impact of social and cultural narratives on gender perceptions and political affiliations.