Saturday, October 13, 2007

Young people increasingly against abortion

The question of the values of young people interest me since they indicate the direction in which the country is moving. The General Social Survey has been asking Americans about their attitudes toward abortion since 1972. I generated these graphs to show the trends in views of women ages 18 to 30 (yearly samples range from 110 to 250). Men of the same age group show similar trends, but the the pattern is a bit stronger for females. What we see is a basically flat trend (if you smooth out the wrinkles) until the mid-90s. At this point, feeling that abortion should be permitted begins to drop. This pattern holds for all the reasons given for an abortion.
So why are young people shifting toward more conservative values on abortion? Are they reacting to the excesses of their parents? We see a big drop circa 2000--are some young folks rejecting Clintonian sleeziness? Are evangelicals making inroads among this demographic?
Paleos dread Giuliani in the White House because endless war means more dead soldiers. Compared to hundreds of thousands of embryos and fetuses killed in cold blood every year, a few thousand guys who volunteered to die for honor and glory is small potatoes. Insider Republicans have already pissed little people like me off over issues of the war and immigration. Abortion is a vote determinant for quite a few voters (my mom doesn't give a damn about anything else), and people like me and an increasing number of young people are going to stay home or find another party if candidates like Giuliani are foisted on us.


  1. Anonymous12:13 PM

    I have noticed my mother, who used to be very pro-choice, has grown much more pro-life over the years. I think the partial birth abortion issue a few years back turned her off. My youngest brother, who is in junior high, is much more conservative about abortion than the rest of my family. Perhaps he reflects the change in my mother's sentiments on the issue, but I'm not entirely certain. I get the distinct impression that his peers are much more pro-life than were the kids when I went to junior high or high school. Could they be more religious as well?

  2. Anonymous1:22 PM

    One difference between aborted fetuses and KIA soldiers is that I don't have to pay much in the way of taxes when it comes to the fetus. Wars just keep getting more and more expensive.

  3. Anonymous8:42 PM


    Have you checked for changes in support for abortion in Italy or Spain in particular?

    Those two nations have the lowest birthrates in the world now. They were down to something like 1.2-1.4 each for a time. 1.0 is of course, half the replacement rate thus ensuring each generation is only half the size of the previous one. I wonder if this has any effect on people's sentiment towards abortion.

    Simply put, if Continental Europeans, Japanese, and South Koreans dont start having more babies----then those countries are going to shrink a great deal or in Europe's case---become another place entirely (replaced by Muslims physically).

    A birthrate of 1.5 halves the size of the "breeding" generation in 65 or so years according to what I read once. 1.5 is higher than the German or Russian Birthrate (although Putin is taking the matter head on and even promising housing for women with three or more kids amongst other strategies to induce more births).


  4. How does this interact with the fact that Christianity seems to be seriously on the decline in the U.S.?

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Perhaps the increasing proportion of Hispanics among the young (Catholics, religious?) is the cause? You could check for this by looking at non-hispanics only.

  7. Anonymous4:25 PM

    You don't have to be Christian or even conservative to believe that abortion is murder, Thursday.

  8. True, but conservative Christians groups motivated by traditional Christian teaching have been at the forefront of the anti-abortion movement. It is only in their organizations that the anti-abortion has received any institutional support.

  9. Anonymous5:21 PM


    True, and non-Christian pro-lifers like myself are grateful to Christians for carrying the torch. But I think the jump in support for human rights for the fetus is more due to the waning influence of ideological feminism than the re-Christianization of the West. People who grew up with women's legal and political equality as a given don't need to go around killing fetuses to prove how liberated they are.

  10. Anonymous5:53 PM

    Imagine yourself a middle aged man in Italy folks.

    You look around and see more old (as in ederly) people than you see children. You see more people in their thirties and forties than you see children.

    You go to a park, and you see some people picknicking, but very few children.


    --------------Dont any of you see why and "abortion" wouldn't seem like such a "happy" event in light of this.

    We are wathing (in some countries), 100 people become 60, and then that 60 become 40 RIGHT BEFORFE OUR EYES. Are we gong to STOP that 40 (*todays children) from becoming 25 or so in another thirty years??????

    Abortion makes sex a completely pleasureable activity with no strings attatched whatsoever. There will be no consequences whatsoever. As people delay marriage and childbrith because they can have so much "fun sex", it leads to people not getting around to starting families until its too late to have more than about two kids at most. When you are stuck in the middle of a population where this is pitifully obvious, you dont feel joy at knowing a cousin of yours who is childless had two abortions a few years ago as she gets into her late thirties and will probably never have a kid, or an aunt who only had one kid had an abortion (and probably killed that girl she says she always wanted, and still cries to your mother about).
    There really is no reason to have an abortion other than in cases of rape or incest. There are many ways not to concieve a child if two responsible people no longer want to have any MORE children.

    I will never forget reading about Margaret Sanger and why she REALLY SUPPORTED ABORTION-----It was to breed out blacks. It was a subtle genocide in other words, except it has worked out to lessen the bithrates of the very people Sanger would have wanted to keep breeding. Thats the funny part.

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