Monday, November 22, 2010

People grow up as they get older shocker

After 10 years of work, and 43,410 young people interviewed we have some results from the National Foundation for Educational Research's great study, the Citizenship Education Longitudinal Study

According to PA it makes the following remarkable discovery...
Young people become less tolerant of refugees and immigrants as they grow up, new research suggests.

They are also more likely to believe in tougher jail sentences for young offenders and cutting benefits for the unemployed.

The proportion of youngsters who believe that Britain does not have room to accept any more refugees rose by 20 percentage points between the ages of 11 and 18, the study, by the National Foundation for Educational Research, reveals.
What is interesting that while the old story about being a Socialist when young and a Conservative later holds true,
Attitudes towards equality and society have hardened with age: over time, the cohort have become less liberal and more conservative particularly in their attitudes towards refugees and immigrants, but also in their attitudes towards jail sentences, benefit payments, and some environmental restriction policies. At the same time, the cohort have become markedly more supportive about human rights and women’s rights.
Which is good to hear. Young people grow up to believe in right and wrong, but that includes human rights. They also suggest that
• Political participation increased with age: over the course of CELS (2001 – 2009), there was an increase in the proportion of the CELS cohort reporting that they had participated in political activities. Signing petitions and electing student/ school council members were the most common forms of political participation. Only a small proportion took part in more active forms of political activity.
• Civic participation increased with age: there has also been a marked increase in the proportion of the CELS cohort reporting that they have participated in civic activities. Fund-raising for charities and good causes were the most commonly-reported activity, although, as they got older, there was also a notable increase in the proportions that helped in their local community.
Which has to be a good sign, though not surprisingly people stop playing sport (it doesn't go into the watching of sport in pubs - which I guess may increase).

This is a fascinating example of what they are talking about,

You know, there is much to be hopeful about.

On Europe for example, Year 7 has 36% trusting the EU either completely or a lot, dropping to 24% at year 13. And similarly 'Not at all' or 'a little' has 29% at year 7 which rises to 52% at year 13. (page 39 of the report)
Similarly, there has been a steady and even more dramatic increase in the proportion who agreed or strongly agreed that ‘people who were not born in Britain, but who live here now, should be required to learn English.’ In Year 7 (age 11), almost 50 per cent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with this statement; by Year 13 (age 18), the proportion had increased to almost 80 per cent. In this case, further analysis indicated that respondents from ethnic minority backgrounds were more likely to agree or strongly agree with this sentiment, while those with very low home literacy resources were more likely to disagree or strongly disagree
As is this,

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