High school boys across America are increasingly steering their political compass towards conservatism, a trend that is reshaping the political landscape of the younger generation, as revealed by recent federal surveys and academic studies, as reported by The Hill.
Escalating Conservatism among High School Boys
- There has been a substantial surge in high school boys aligning with conservative ideologies. According to federal surveys of American youth, these boys are close to twice as likely to self-identify as conservatives than liberals.
- High school senior boys are trending conservative, with approximately a quarter of them identifying as conservative or “very conservative” over the last three years, according to the ‘Monitoring the Future’ survey. However, a significant portion of this group (over two-fifths) does not clearly align with any political ideology.
- This progression has been noticeable over the past three years, with approximately one-quarter of senior high school boys choosing to identify as conservative based on the ‘Monitoring the Future’ survey.
- Interestingly, many of these boys appear hesitant to declare their political affiliation. In the 2022 survey, over two-fifths selected ‘none of the above’ or ‘I don’t know’ in response to the liberal-conservative question.
Declining Liberal Affiliation among Young Men
- Along with the rise of conservatism, there has been a noticeable decline in young men identifying as liberals. The proportion of young men associating themselves with liberalism has stagnated over the past two decades.
- There has been a noticeable decline in young men identifying as liberals over the past two decades. Instead of embracing liberal ideologies, these young men are either maintaining moderate views or leaning towards conservatism.
- This decline is evident despite the overall leftward shift of Generation Z (born between 1997 and 2012), which is driven largely by young women. Young men, instead, appear to have maintained relatively consistent political views, with many identifying as moderate.
Influences Driving the Shift
- The present political environment is suggested as a key driver of the observed political shift among high school boys, who have grown up in an atmosphere perceived as anti-male and anti-masculinity.
- Classroom dynamics influenced by debates surrounding transgender issues may be affecting their political orientation.
- Some high school boys experience negative associations with White people and males, often hearing narratives that implicate “straight white males” as the root of numerous societal problems in America.
- High-profile conservative figures, such as former President Donald Trump, may have an influence on these young men, with their rhetoric resonating with some.
- Left-wing figures, including President Biden and liberal media personalities, may seem unoriginal and lack novelty to these boys.
- On the other hand, right-wing figures and Republicans are often seen as controversial, humorous, and edgy, traits that may appeal to the younger male demographic.