ATTITUDES ABOUT SOCIO-MORAL ISSUES AMONG RELIGIOUS AND SECULAR YOUTH
Recent headlines suggest that Americans, and American youth in particular, are growing more liberal in their attitudes about social and moral issues. Do these trends suggest that the oft discussed “culture wars” are nearing an end? We examine this possibility by asking whether younger generations of religious and secular Americans do indeed espouse more liberal attitudes about sociomoral issues than their counterparts in older generations. We focus specifically on differences within and across religious groups in attitudes about four issues: abortion, same-sex marriage, stem cell research, and the environment. We are especially interested in comparing generational differences in attitudes about high profile, “old-line” wedge issues (abortion and same-sex marriage) in the culture wars with newer, lower profile issues (stem cell research and the environment). Using the 2008 National Annenberg Election Survey, we find that religious youth are generally not more liberal than older religious individuals.
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