A new study has made the rounds of social media and news coverage, showing that senior high school boys are trending conservative while high school girls are becoming more liberal. The study was released by “Monitoring the Future,” which has studied political trends of 12th graders since 1970. The most recent report shows that overall, about 23 percent of male high school seniors identify as “conservative” or “very conservative.” Only 13 percent identified as “liberal” or “very liberal,” meaning that male high school seniors were nearly twice as likely to identify as conservative over liberal. More than two-fifths of boys in the study identified their political beliefs as “none of the above” or “I don’t know.” The study also showed that 12th-grade girls had also shifted liberal. In 2012, the number of girls who identified as liberal was 19 percent. By last year, that number had jumped to 30 percent. Only 12 percent of girls identified as conservative. The trends continue as high schoolers move into adulthood, with women aged 18 to 29 twice as likely to identify as liberal. Thirty-one percent of young men identified as conservative.

Speaking with Fox News on the study, psychotherapist Thomas Kersting suggested part of the reason young men are leaning conservative is the way liberal pundits have allegedly demonized masculinity 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. 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.” Delano Squires, a research fellow at the conservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation, stated the split shows a division between matriarchy and patriarchy. “I believe that traditional notions of masculinity are much more accepted within conservativism,” he said, while feminist values “are clearly one of the driving forces of liberalism. I could see male and female students saying, ‘I’m choosing sides.’ Do you want matriarchy, or do you want patriarchy?”

Another area that may be assisting this trend is a growing subculture of conservative gamers, such as the “Nerdrotic” podcast, which has nearly 830,000 subscribers on YouTube and features a bevy of gamers, comic book creators, and film critics lamenting the increasing “wokeness” of those industries. Their complaints usually center on how formerly strong male characters, such as Indiana Jones as the most recent example, are being minimized or weakened in favor of female characters, such as the character of Helena Shaw in the recent “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.” One of their most popular videos, “Woke Hollywood is FAILING, and that’s a Good Thing,” has been viewed over 5 million times. There are also a number of conservative political commentators that attract young men, such as Ben Shapiro and Jordan Peterson of The Daily Wire, Steven Crowder of Louder with Crowder, and others. Kersting noted that men feel like they are falling behind. “Everything is about advancing women and minorities and so forth. I see this a lot at my private practice,” he said. “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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