Are Young American Men Trending Conservative?
Recent findings from a federal survey program known as “Monitoring the Future” suggest young boys in the US are becoming increasingly conservative. Surveys from the past three years showed boys in the 12th grade nearly twice as likely to identify as conservative than liberal, while roughly 13% consider themselves to be liberal or very liberal.
Conservative behaviors like fiscal responsibility and abstinence from drugs and sex are also on the rise among boys and girls belonging to Generation Z, reports the CDC.
Former President Donald Trump may have something to do with this shift, explains 21-year-old Robert Placios, a student at the Catholic University of America. “Donald Trump talks like a high school student,” he says. “Maybe there’s some connection there.”
Trump’s bold attitude showed young men something that is generally lacking among the progressive crowd: masculinity.
“If you grew up playing video games that were not age-appropriate, and you were sitting in the [virtual] lobby, screaming at the mic, Trump was your president,” says Ethan Benn, a 21-year old student at George Washington University. “He really channeled that energy.”
That energy seems to have had the opposite effect on some female voters. According to the “Monitoring the Future” surveys, the percentage of 12th-grade girls who identify as liberal jumped from 19% in 2012 to 30% in 2022. In the latest survey, just 12% of senior girls marked themselves as conservative. A similar shift was identified in women between the ages of 18 and 29, who are nearly twice as likely than men in this age group to identify as liberal.
Another factor is the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which pushed many young women towards the Democratic Party.
Writing in her new book Generations, San Diego State University Psychology Professor Jean Twenge proclaimed: “Among liberals, the future is female; and among conservatives, the future is male.”
As the Democrats continue to celebrate feminism and women’s rights, it’s easy to understand why young men would start to see the GOP as a safe haven.
As Heritage Foundation research fellow Delano Squires recently explained, modern-day progressive views don’t align with traditional masculine notions about society. “I could see male and female students saying, ‘I’m choosing sides.’ Do you want matriarchy, or do you want patriarchy?”
It is important to note that a majority of respondents between the ages of 13 and 21 who participated in the surveys mentioned above did not choose a political affiliation.