Presidential Polls 2012: On Two Key Issues, Young People Are Torn Between Liberal and Conservative Views


Our generation, the millennial generation, is different. While it is easy to classify previous generations – particularly Baby Boomers – as liberal, the millennial generation is more of a mixed bag. For example, on racial issues, there is a stark divide. White millennials tend to hold conservative views, whereas non-white millennials hold liberal views. But on issues of sexual morality, millennials appear to hold moderate views. On one important issue, they are decidedly liberal.

For evidence, let's take a look at the 2012 Millennial Values Survey, which analyzed 2,013 millennials ages 18-24. Of those millennials, 57% identified as white, 21% as Hispanic, 14% as black, 6% as some other race, and 3% as two or more racial categories. We’ll start with the issue of race, which is sure to generate the most surprise.

From page 36 of the report: “Only around one-quarter (24%) of black millennials and slightly more than one-third (37%) of Hispanic millennials agree that the government had paid too much attention to the problems of blacks and other minorities, compared to 56% of white millennials.”

And from pages 36-37: “A solid majority (58%) of white millennials believe that discrimination against whites has become as big a problem as discrimination against blacks and other minorities, compared to only 24% of black millennials and about 4-in-10 (39%) Hispanic millennials.”

Even though millennials were constantly bombarded in the education system with propaganda about the evils of whites – evils such as slavery and lynching which no white person alive today is responsible for – that propaganda didn’t stick. White millennials perceive the anti-white nature of policies that promote diversity and multiculturalism, and as whites become an ever-shrinking minority in the nation that was founded and built by their ancestors, the divide on racial issues between whites and non-whites is likely to grow.

On the issues of sexual morality, the survey unfortunately did not delineate between whites and non-whites, but the findings were interesting all the same. Take pornography, for example. According to the chart on page 30, 51% of all millennials think that viewing it is morally wrong, whereas 41% think viewing it is morally acceptable. Fifty-seven percent of millennials favor making it more difficult to access pornography on the internet, whereas 39% are opposed. Among females, the gap is even bigger: 65% favor heavier restrictions on internet pornography, 33% oppose.

So then, are millennials actually conservative on sexual morality? Not exactly. That same chart shows that 64% of all millennials feel that sex between an unmarried man and woman is morally acceptable, whereas only 29% are opposed. Millennials aren’t sexual libertines, but they don’t think sex must be saved until marriage either.

With the Supreme Court set to issue a ruling on a controversial case brought by a young white female student over affirmative action, the divide on reverse discrimination between white and non-white millennials will be magnified. Furthermore, the moderate views of millennials on sexual morality suggests that the ongoing debate between "abstinence only" and "safe-sex" proponents is not constructive, and that there is a middle ground to be found in the form of "abstinence plus." 

Sound off and tell me what you think!