High school boys are trending more conservative than in previous years, while girls of the same age are now moving overwhelmingly in the opposite direction, according to a study by the University of Michigan.
Twelfth-grade boys are nearly twice as likely to call themselves conservative, versus liberal, with the gap steadily growing in recent years. Girls, however, identify themselves as liberal at a rate of about 30%, up sharply from 2015.
Psychotherapist Thomas Kersting joined “Fox & Friends” Tuesday to share his thoughts on the “Monitoring the Future” survey and explain what he believes is behind the results.
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Kersting explained that the numbers go beyond politics and are a reflection of the way the left has talked about men in recent years.
“12th-grade boys are kind of seeing through this. We’re creating this idea that if you’re a male, there’s something wrong with that and that you’re bad,” he told host Steve Doocy.
“Then you have politicians out there saying, like, the number one problem in America is White men and things of that nature. So I think young, 12th-grade boys are kind of seeing through this.”
The numbers represent a shift from previous generations when young men and women leaned left in similar numbers.
“Everything is about advancing women and minorities and so forth,” Kersting noted, suggesting that this may be pushing more young males away from liberalism.
“I see this a lot at my private practice. A lot of young guys are falling behind. They feel like they can’t advance. So there’s nothing really there to help advance them because the idea is that men have always dominated, which is partially true. And we want women and everybody to advance, but we can’t do it at the expense of another group.”
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Kersting said liberalism in 2023 is “so extreme” compared to decades before.
“I look at conservatism as the following of faith, family and country and being, as far as a male, being a protector and a provider and treating women with respect, everybody else with respect. It’s not what it’s being portrayed to be,” said Kersting.
According to The Hill’s analysis, the trend is a striking departure from as recently as the late 2000s, when the number of boys identifying as liberal was 21% in 2009, but down to a low of 13% in 2022. The number of girls identifying as conservative, on the other hand, is nearing all-time lows, making up just 12% of high-school seniors, the study found.
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