Students’ Slight Turn Right

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

Given the unending indoctrination students receive from professors, the surprise is not that they graduate leaning left but that they are not even further on the Left. Yet the August 31, 2012 almanac from The Chronicle of Higher Education shows the student body actually shifting slightly to the right on some issues.

For example:

  • The proportion of students self-identifying as liberals is about the same as the group calling itself conservative (in the 25 percent range, plus or minus.);
  • The “percentage of students who said there was a ‘very good chance’ that they would participate in student protests or demonstrations” was 6 percent in 2011, the year of the Occupiers (Occupying—Wall Street, Washington, their parents’ basement…);
  • The percentage who felt that “a national health-care plan is needed to cover everybody’s medical” runs at 60.5 percent, down from a 30-year high of 77.6 percent in 1992;
  • The percentage of students surveyed who believe that “abortion should be legal” stands, as of 2011, at 60.7 percent, down from a pre-Roe v. Wade high of 85.7 percent in 1970 and a post-Roe high of 67.2 percent in 1992;

Yet and still, on the issue of same-sex marriage: On the question of whether “same-sex couples should have the right to legal marital status,” 71.3 percent of collegians favor the proposition, up from 50.9 percent in 1997.

Just a passing thought: All but the last of these trends turn on fact. The argument over same-sex  marriage is, arguably, one of philosophy.

In the 1970s, abortion advocates could claim, and did, that the victim was not an infant but a bunch of cells. The advent of the sonogram, wherein you can actually see the outline of a baby in the womb from surprisingly early in the pregnancy, made this a difficult claim to make.

On health care, since the passage of Obamacare, it’s hard to miss the fact that premiums and the number of uninsured have gone up.  Clearly, this has not led to more quality medical treatment for everyone.

Even on the economic issues that underpin the Occupiers’ angst, it is difficult not to notice that while businesses remain boarded up from coast to coast, government agencies do not.

The costs and benefits of same-sex marriage are a bit harder to quantify. Those who try to, though, are not appreciated in academia.

Just ask Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas at Austin, who found that, contrary to current wisdom, the children such couples adopt are more likely than those of heterosexuals to engage in criminal activity and abuse drugs or alcohol.

Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.

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