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Disillusioned young American men are becoming more conservative

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Social media draws young conservative men towards more extreme and conservative role models, shows the extensive survey with over 300,000 participants. Photo: Ty Oneil, AP/NTB

Of NTB | 17.04.2024 06:33:05

Crime and justice: The survey captures despair and disillusionment with politics and provides extensive background material for a number of elections around the world this year. 20 countries are included in the survey, which was carried out by the research company Glocalities.

As many as 300,000 have answered the questions in the survey, according to the Reuters news agency.

Here, the participants are asked, among other things, to place themselves on a scale from hope to despair and on another scale between control and freedom, in other words to place themselves somewhere between liberalism and conservatism.

– All over the world, young people feel let down by society. The wave of despair among American youth is far stronger than what we find among young adults in the EU countries, says Martijn Lampert who is head of research at Glocalities.

– The feeling of hopelessness, being disillusioned, and in rebellion against cosmopolitan values ​​partly explains the rise of right-wing radical anti-elite parties all over the world.

The algorithms in social media reinforce the trend of pulling moderately conservative young men towards more extreme and radically conservative role models, says Martijn Lampert to Reuters.

But where men aged 18-34 take over from 55-70 year olds as the most conservative group, women aged 18-34 became more liberal and anti-patriarchal.

On a scale where 1 represents the most conservative and 5 the most liberal, young women have moved from 3.55 in 2014 to 3.78 in 2023. Men of the same age also generally became more liberal with an increase from 3.29 to 3, 36. But the American young men went the other way from 3.48 to 3.46.

Young men are more interested in achieving social and economic status, conservative family values, competition, courage and glory.

Men and women over 55 are the only group that has become more hopeful, as well as becoming more liberal.

To measure social values, Glocalities asks what they think about patriarchy, flexible gender roles, same-sex marriage, and premarital sex. The questions measuring the feelings were about future prospects and the feeling of being let down by society.

On average, the world became slightly more liberal in the years 2014-2023, but it also became slightly more pessimistic, according to the survey which was carried out in countries that make up nearly 60 per cent of the world’s population.

Young men in the US are the only population group in the US or the seven EU countries in the survey that have become more conservative since 2014. They lean towards control rather than freedom. Almost 15,000 Americans participated in the survey, of which 2,200 were men aged 18–34.

The survey highlights a sharp boundary between the world’s young men and the world’s young women. Both sexes are concerned with career prospects, financial security and education.

Globally, we have probably never seen a more liberal group than the world’s young women today, says the report. Young women worry about social issues such as sexual harassment, family violence, child abuse and neglect.

(© NTB)

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