Culture

Jul 20, 2017 by Isabella Cox

Study Finds Conservative College Students Afraid to Speak Up

According to a recent study, conservative college students do not feel as comfortable speaking out as their liberal counterparts. 

The study was preformed by Heterodox Academy, which is a group that is committed to advancing what they call "viewpoint diversity" in higher education. According to the analysis released Wednesday, conservative and moderate students show more hesistaton when it comes to speaking openly about political issues than liberal students do.

"Moderates and Conservatives reported greater reluctance to discuss racial, political, and gender issues compared to liberals. They also reported greater concern about each consequence compared to liberals," the analysis found.

"When comparing Conservatives to Liberals, all of these differences were statistically significant. This pattern of results tended to hold when comparing Moderates to Liberals, although there were some comparisons where the differences did not attain statistical significance."

Among the concerns of conservative students was also a higher liklihood to fear bad grades if they were to be open about their political beliefs in the classroom. 

Heterodox Academy also looked at the rate at which universities disinvited political speakers earlier this year, and found that liberals were twice as likely to restrict the speak of speakers they disagreed with. This was concluded from data drawn from the last 16 years. 

This study had examined 333 disinvitation attempts, and out of those 333, 300 (60.06%) came from leftist activists, while 133 (38.94%) came from either right-wing activists or "not applicable". 

"These analyses revealed that speaker disinvitation attempts from 2000 to 2016 came primarily from the left of the speaker and occurred most often for controversies over racial issues, views on sexual orientation, and views on Islam," explained Heterodox Academy in February.

"Furthermore, at private secular institutions, disinvitation attempts came primarily from the left of the speaker (66.98%) rather than from the right of the speaker (26.42%)."

The study finding that conservatives do not feel as comfortable speaking out on college campuses comes in the wake of a Pew Study released last week that showed Republicans have a significantly more negative view of colleges than Democrats do. 

"The survey finds that Republicans' attitudes about the effect of colleges and universities have changed dramatically over a relatively short period of time," the Pew study said. 

"Among Republicans, there is an ideological gap in views of the impact of colleges and universities and other institutions: Nearly two-thirds of conservative Republicans (65%) say colleges are having a negative impact, compared with just 43% of moderate and liberal Republicans."



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