by UnHerd
Monday, 12
October 2020
Seen Elsewhere

The liberal paradox

by UnHerd

We all hope that every child grows up to become a successful adult. But, of course, not all of them do. And so we worry — for our children and grandchildren, but also for the younger generation in general.

But who are we most worried about — girls or boys? In a revealing piece of research, Brookings put that question to a sample of Americans. Overall, the respondents were more worried about boys than girls (as well they might be, judging by educational and other outcomes). However, they also found a big difference between how conservatives and liberals answer that question.

As you can see in the graph below, conservatives were much more worried about boys than girls. With liberals, however, it was the other way around — they were more worried about girls than boys, though by a narrower margin:

Credit: Brookings

But here comes the twist: when American liberals were asked about their worries for their own children (rather than children in general) they reversed their position — saying they were more worried about their sons than their daughters:

Credit: Brookings

Is this because ideology — what one is supposed to think — directed the first response (about girls and boys in general), with personal experience only kicking in when it came to their own children? Also, why are liberals more pessimistic about their kids than conservatives are?

This research raises a lot of questions, but the answers could get to the heart of America’s political and cultural divide.

Join the discussion

  • October 15, 2020
    Sorry, my reply seems stuck in a moderation queue for a couple of days. Didn't think I was THAT provocative. Maybe I triggered unHerd's filters. Read more

  • October 14, 2020
    I understand what you are saying, but can you remember the last time a Christian came up to you and berated you for your lifestyle choices? I wonder how much anti-Christian sentiment is being stoked up by the media which seems to loathe Christianity, but gives other religions a free pass. The best... Read more

  • October 14, 2020
    Sorry, no. It's well documented that it was an idea started by a Republican think-tank in the 1970s. In the 1980s it seemed plausible, even obvious, but the widening gap between the richest and the rest suggests that wealth trickles up. (Which is, of course, bleedin' obvious). Read more

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