The Biggest Difference Between Liberal and Conservative Parents, in Two Charts


American parents take largely the same route when it comes to raising their kids, with the exception of two very big areas: tolerance and religious faith. 

That's the takeaway from a new survey by the Pew Research Center, which polled 3,243 adults online and by mail on the approaches they favored most for child-rearing. Conservatives were much more likely to value teaching religion, while liberals favored teaching their children tolerance. 


No other values — including empathy for others, creativity and obedience — approached the same level of disparity. But on the whole, respondents in all camps across the political spectrum placed responsibility, hard work and good manners high on the list of things we should be teaching the future leaders of America.  

This new data all but confirms what most of us probably knew anyway: Conservative Americans tend to be much more religious, while liberal Americans tend to place a lot of stock in empathy and tolerance.

The divide in practice: If you want to see the connection between religion and conservatism up close, take a look at some of today's biggest social debates. Conservatives have historically opposed both gay marriage and abortion, largely for religious reasons. 

Liberals put their values into political practice too; they largely support gay marriage and immigration reform while opposing the death penalty, primarily because of their emphasis on tolerance. 


Even if our children don't agree on religion or tolerance, they'll at least see eye-to-eye on the importance of responsibility. Or not

h/t Washington Post