12th-grade American boys trend conservative: report

"Around 65 percent of boys were conservative while only around 31 percent of girls identified that way."


General knowledge may say that more and more young people are identifying as liberal. According to new data, 12th-grade high school boys are twice as likely to identify as conservative as compared to liberal.  

In annual surveys over the last few years, data pulled from Monitoring the Future has shown that about a quarter of high school seniors identify as conservative or very conservative. Only 13 percent of the 12th grade boys identify as liberal.  

An image of a graph from the book "Generations: The Real Differences Between Gen Z, Millennial, Gen X, Boomers, and Silents - and What They Mean for America's Future" by Jean Twenge, went somewhat viral online.  

The graph excludes moderate students, but of those high school seniors that do identify politically, around 65 percent of boys were conservative while only around 31 percent of girls identified that way.  

As one Politico analyst put it, "Democrats have a masculinity problem." Citing trends among black and Latino voters, the analyst pointed out that even in minority communities that have voted majority Democrat, men have been turning to the Republican party at higher rates than women.  

Some conservative figures such as Jordan Peterson and Dennis Prager (through PragerU) have millions of followers on YouTube, a platform where the users are majority male.   

In addition, one of the more popular conservative political podcasts, The Ben Shapiro Show, has an audience that skews overwhelmingly male at 86 percent. The audience also skews younger, 18-44, in comparison to Fox's former show with Tucker Carlson, 25-54, which skews slightly female at 53 percent.

Delano Squires, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, told the Hill in response to the findings, "I believe that traditional notions of masculinity are much more accepted within conservativism." He then added that feminist values "are clearly one of the driving forces of liberalism." 

Ethan Benn, a student at George Washington University, told the Hill that there is a "sort of intersection of Internet culture and gaming culture with conservative politics” that attracts young men." 

"You could be watching a video about the latest Star Wars movie, and then the next video would be, 'Here’s how women are ruining Star Wars,'" Benn added. "Even if you aren’t seeking it out, it will come and find you." 

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