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Study: Conservative College Students Fear Backlash for Political Beliefs

Study: Conservative College Students Fear Backlash for Political Beliefs

A new study shows that conservative students are more wary of being vocal about their beliefs on college campuses than liberal students.

The study, from Heterodox Academy, says in its analysis that conservative and moderate students are more fearful about speaking up about politics than their liberal peers.

"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," noted Heterodox Academy.

"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."

Conservatives surveyed said they were concerned that speaking up on political issues would lead to lower class grades or their fellow students deeming those viewpoints “offensive.”

Earlier this year, the Heterodox Academy released a report, saying that liberals were twice as likely as conservatives to try to disinvite speakers they disagreed with. For example, of 333 disinvitations recorded by Heterodox Academy in the February report, 200 were from liberal activists. Just about 100 were from right-wing activists and some 30 were labeled “Not applicable.”

Heterodox’s most recent study comes just after Pew released its own findings, which showed that 58 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning survey respondents believe that colleges have a negative impact on society. Nineteen percent of Democrats and Democrat-leaning respondents said the same.


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Publication date: July 21, 2017