Younger generation is more tolerant to the ideals that our elders resented

In a recent research, younger generation is found to be more tolerant to many ideals that our elders were opposed to.  For instance, Americans have become more willing to support civil liberties for homosexuals, people who oppose churches and religion, and even those who advocate doing away with elections and letting the military run the country.

“Two things in particular account for this trend: an increase in education and changing attitudes across generations,” said Smith, the author of this report.

College attendance in particular, which has increased in the last 40 years, has prompted people to become more open-minded, he said. In addition, younger generations do not feel the same threat from some of the controversial groups as did their parents.

Smith is author of the NORC report released on Aug. 25, 2011 by NORC at the University of Chicago. The report shows:

  • Support for allowing a “person who is against all churches and religions” to speak rose from 66 percent in 1972 to 76 percent in 2010; approval for teaching rose from 42 percent in 1972 to 60 percent in 2010; and tolerance of having such a book in the library grew from 61 percent in 1972 to 74 percent in 2010.
  • Support for allowing “a person who advocates doing away with elections and letting the military run the country” to speak grew from 55 percent in 1976 to 69 percent in 2010; approval for teaching went from 37 percent in 1976 to 57 percent in 2010; and tolerance of having such a book in the library climbed from 57 percent in 1976 to 71 percent in 2010.
  • Support for allowing an “admitted homosexual” to speak increased from 62 percent in 1972 to 86 percent in 2010; approval for teaching rose from 48 percent in 1973 to 84 percent in 2010; and tolerance of having such a book in the library from 54 percent in 1973 to 78 percent in 2010.

The General Social Survey, conducted for the past 40 years, monitors societal change and the growing complexity of American society. This changing trends in our outlook towards evolving cultures and behavior effects our over all psychological framework and therefore how we interpret the world.

From these studies, it appears that younger generation, in general, seem to be more tolerant to changing life styles and more accepting of the cultural exchange. This means more inter-racial mixing and the resulting offspring.

The cross-cultural intermix will eventually lead to complicated but interesting disease prevention strategies for healthcare providers and social workers. Most of our medical and health related textbooks are currently based on research done on one major race or ethnicity, like Caucasian, African-American, Asian, Hispanic etc. Future medical research will face a newer challenge from intermixing of various races and have to adopt newer research methodologies to cater to these ever evolving cross-cultural human being.

For full Press Release on this study click here

Homosexuality is Permanent, Opposition is Not

Last week, President Barack Obama announced his personal support for same-sex marriage for the first time. While this may be considered as shocking for an incumbent president gearing up for another election, the revelation that being gay is “okay” is really nothing new. Those in the fields of medicine, psychology, and statistical analysis have been proving again and again that homosexuality is both heritable and permanent.

According to Dr. Neil Cannon, certified Sex Therapist & Couples Counselor: “Sending gays to therapy to become “un-gay” has been a hotly debated topic within the mental health community for many years. The American Psychological Association (APA) representing its’ 150,000 professional members, said that after an exhaustive review of 50 years’ worth of studies, even if gays wanted to become straight there is no credible evidence concluding that reparative therapy is effective.  As a clinician who has worked with countless people of every sexual orientation, I can say with confidence that sexual orientation is not a choice, but rather a clear case of nature over nurture.  The only people that need repair are the people who impose their moral values on others, pathologize those who are different than themselves, and claim there is only one way to live in this life.”

Same-sex marriage has also been examined in terms of evolution. What value could this sexual orientation have, that it has persisted for eons even without any discernible reproductive advantage? One possible explanation is what evolutionary psychologists call the “kin selection hypothesis.” What that means is that homosexuality may convey an indirect benefit by enhancing the survival prospects of close relatives. Specifically, the theory holds that homosexual men might enhance their own genetic prospects by being “helpers in the nest.” By acting altruistically toward nieces and nephews, homosexual men would perpetuate the family genes, including some of their own.

Ultimately, public attitudes toward gays and lesbians are becoming more accepting, especially by younger generations, according to research by NORC at the University of Chicago. The results show a clear trend toward greater tolerance regarding homosexuality.

The rise in support for same-sex marriage has been especially dramatic over the last two decades. It went from 11 percent approval in 1988 to 46 percent in 2010, compared to 40 percent who were opposed.

All and all, anti-gay attitudes may eventually become all but antiquated.


University of Chicago Press Journals
Association for Psychological Science