According to new Pew Research Center polling (pdf, find the full paper below) and analysis GenY is more likely than older generations to support clean energy and environmental protection and to believe climate change is happening and is caused by human activity. Generation X is close behind. Climate and environmental change is just one topic in the study: there’s plenty plenty more. While Millennials (GenY) tend to take a more liberal position on most social issues in American society, this is not universally true. Most notably, there is no significant generational difference on one of the most divisive issues in the nation: abortion rights.
About the study
The study provides a detailed look at the current generational dynamics of American
politics. Why are Silent generation voters so angry? How have the political leanings of
Baby Boomers evolved? Is the Reagan-era Generation X moving closer to the
Democratic column? Will Millennials be as engaged and enthused about Obama as
they were in 2008? The answers lie in understanding the broad political, social and
economic changes of the past decades and how they have shaped the political leanings of
these generations over time.
Almost six-in-ten Millennials (59%) favor gay marriage, but just a third (33%) of the Silent generation shares this view. About four-in-ten Boomers (42%) support legal marriage for same-gender couples, as does half (50%) of Generation X. The researchers at PEW analyze about the “hot” and one of the most challenging topics in society, gay marriage:
“The gradual change over the long term largely reflects the arrival of the new generations politically. Over the course of the past 15 years each younger generation has been more supportive of gay marriage than those older than them. As the younger generations make up a larger share of the public, the balance of opinion shifts inexorably in that direction. But the shift toward support for gay marriage has been steeper in recent years because this generational replacement has been augmented by significant attitude changes within generations as well. As recently as 2009, just 23% of Silents supported allowing gay marriage. Now 33% say they do. The increase in the past two years also has been notable among Boomers (from 32% to 42%), Gen Xers (from 41% to 50%) and Millennials (from 51% to 59%).”