A survey recently conducted suggests that the number of college students who identify their political views as “liberal” or “far left” are at an all-time high.
The survey, conducted by the UCLA Higher Education Research Institute, found that 41 percent of women in college are politically “liberal,” which is an all-time high in all of the survey’s 51-year history.
While this may seem like a great number, only 29 percent of their male counterparts identify as liberal.
The survey also says that a majority of college women believe that the government should prioritize pressing societal issues such as stricter gun control laws and climate change at 75 percent and 82 percent, respectively.
Meanwhile, about 90 percent of women said that sex “without the presence of explicit affirmative consent” qualifies as rape or sexual assault while only 82 percent of men believe the same.
Authors of the study believe that the level of polarization of the college Freshmen of 2016 has to do with their engagement in political and civic issues.
“More than one-quarter of first-time, full-time students (26.9%) rate the life goal of influencing the political structure as ‘very important’ or ‘essential’—the largest proportion to date,” The American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2016 reads. “Additionally, 46.0% of students report that keeping up with political affairs is similarly ‘very important’ or ‘essential’ to them personally, the largest such response since 1990.”
The authors also noted that over the course of 51 years in which the survey has been conducted, there were always a spike in political engagement during presidential elections. However, 2016 seems to be a far larger spike than usual, which may possibly be due to the intensity of this year’s elections and the turbulence that come with the issues the country is facing.
On the other hand, only 86 percent of liberal students say that they can tolerate people of different cultures and beliefs, while 68 percent of conservatives and 82 percent of “middle of the road” students could say the same.
As a recommendation, authors of the study encourage colleges to come up with activities that help student interact with other people of different backgrounds, culture and ethnicity.