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BYP Memo: Moving Beyond Marriage, What Young People of Color Think about the LGBT Agenda

August 28, 2014 Comments off

BYP Memo: Moving Beyond Marriage, What Young People of Color Think about the LGBT Agenda
Source: Black Youth Project

Over the last decade, we have witnessed a dramatic shift in how the public and the courts view same-sex marriage. Much of the reporting on this issue focuses on the overwhelming levels of support for same-sex marriage from the millenial generation. But as victories pile up for the marriage equality movement, we know much less about how young people view the LGBT agenda, and whether young people of color believe the LGBT agenda best serves their communities. These questions are particularly important as LGBT organizations negotiate policies such as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and prepare strategies around other important LGBT issues.

Our latest report provides answers to these questions using a nationally representative survey of 1,500 young people between the ages of 18 and 30 conducted during June 2014. Our main findings are as follows:

  • More Black (80.2%) and Latino (74.9%) youth believe the marriage equality movement has taken too much attention away from other important LGBT issues compared to white youth (64.0%).
  • More Black youth (58.0%) believe that LGBT issues in communities of color are not well-represented by mainstream LGBT organizations than Latino (45.9%) and white youth (42.7%).
  • More than a third (35.0%) of Black youth reported that HIV/AIDS is the single most important issue for LGBT organizations to address. Latino youth reported that bullying (20.1%) is the most important issue, while white youth (21.3%) reported that same-sex marriage is the most important issue.
  • Young people of color are more supportive of policies that would provide sensitivity training for police around transgender issues (77.8% and 73.2%, respectively) and require health insurers to provide coverage for transgender health issues (64.5% and 65.8%, respectively) than white youth (66.2% and 56.3%, respectively).
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Religion and American Politics from a Global Perspective

August 28, 2014 Comments off

Religion and American Politics from a Global Perspective
Source: Religions

Past findings and theory in the sociology of religion support two opposing perspectives concerning the influence of religion on American politics. Looking from within the United States, the commanding influence of religion on political rhetoric and voting patterns seems apparent. From a global perspective, the role that religion plays in American politics is less clear; in fact, one could argue that our political institutions are decidedly secular. I present support for both of these perspectives before turning to an international analysis of images of God using the Gallup World Poll. These data indicate the uniqueness of American religiosity and suggest that the ways in which religion affect politics in the United States is unusual for a post-industrial country. Namely, many Americans understand God as a political actor; because of this, American political culture mixes religious and political language with fervor, all while keeping church and state institutions separate.

No Common Opinion on the Common Core

August 22, 2014 Comments off

Support for Common Core Slips, But Majority of Public Still In Favor
Source: Education Next

Key Findings

• Support for Common Core State Standards (CCSS) dropped from 65% in 2013 to 53% in 2014, with support among Republicans falling from 57% to 43%.

• The public’s support for common standards is stronger when the words “Common Core” are not mentioned, with 68% in support.

• The public, on average, gives 50% of teachers an A or a B, but it gives a D or an F to 22% of them.

• One-quarter of those living with school-age children have educated at least one of their children in a setting other than a traditional public school.

• Support for increasing local school spending has not returned to its pre-recession level among those told current spending levels. As compared to 50% in 2008, only 43% favor spending increases in 2014.

• The same is true for teacher salaries. Among those told current salaries in their state, only 38% favor salary increases in 2014, compared to 54% in 2008.

• Only 35% of the public favors class-size reduction when told its cost relative to raising teacher salaries or purchasing more books and technologies, compared to 46% not informed of relative costs.

A survey of public opinion about connected vehicles in the U.S., the U.K., and Australia

August 22, 2014 Comments off

A survey of public opinion about connected vehicles in the U.S., the U.K., and Australia
Source: University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute

This survey examined public opinion regarding connected-vehicle technology across three major English-speaking countries—the U.S., the U.K., and Australia. The survey yielded useable responses from 1,596 persons over the age of 18. The main results were as follows:

  • The majority of respondents had not previously heard of connected-vehicle technology; however, most had a positive initial opinion of the technology.
  • The majority felt that the expected benefits presented in the survey are likely to occur.
  • Respondents generally expressed a high level of concern regarding the security and performance issues presented in the survey.
  • The majority of those surveyed stated that safety was the most important benefit of connected vehicles.
  • Most individuals said that it is important for personal communication devices to integrate with connected vehicles, as well as for such vehicles to have Internet connectivity.
  • The majority of respondents expressed a desire to have this technology in their vehicle.
  • Willingness to pay for connected-vehicle technology was very similar across the three countries.

The main implications of these results are that the general public in the three countries surveyed feel positive about connected vehicles, have optimistic expectations of the benefits (while still maintaining some concerns), and generally appear ready and willing to embrace connected-vehicle technology when it becomes available.

Forty-Five Percent of Americans Seek Out Organic Foods

August 18, 2014 Comments off

Forty-Five Percent of Americans Seek Out Organic Foods
Source: Gallup

A little less than half of Americans, 45%, actively try to include organic foods in their diets, while 15% actively avoid them. More than a third, 38%, say they “don’t think either way” about organic foods.

Attitudes toward Health Insurance and Their Persistence over Time, Adults, 2010-2011

August 13, 2014 Comments off

Attitudes toward Health Insurance and Their Persistence over Time, Adults, 2010-2011
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Highlights

  • In 2011, 12.1 percent of adults agreed with the statement “I’m healthy enough that I really don’t need health insurance,” and 24.3 percent of adults agreed with the statement “Health insurance is not worth the money it costs.”
  • There were no differences in the overall national estimates when comparing the 2011 attitudes towards the cost of health insurance with those observed in 2010; however, substantial shifts in preferences were noted for the same individuals over this time period.
  • Adults ages 18-64 who were uninsured for all of 2011 were nearly twice as likely as their privately insured counterparts, and two and one-half times as likely as those with public coverage to indicate they were healthy and did not need health insurance. These uninsured adults were also more likely to agree that health insurance was not worth its cost, relative to those with coverage.
  • Adults with consistent attitudes toward health insurance in both 2010 and 2011 had coverage and utilization behaviors in accordance with their expressed preferences. Those who consistently said they were healthy and did not need coverage were more than three times as likely not to have any medical expenditures in both years, relative to those who consistently disagreed with that classification.
  • In both years, adults under age 65 who consistently indicated that health insurance was not worth the cost were nearly three times as likely to be uninsured relative to those who consistently disagreed.

A Survey of Public Opinion About Autonomous and Self-Driving Vehicles In The U.S., The U.K., And Australia

August 7, 2014 Comments off

A Survey of Public Opinion About Autonomous and Self-Driving Vehicles In The U.S., The U.K., And Australia (PDF)
Source: University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (via The Atlantic)

This survey examined public opinion regarding self-driving-vehicle technology in three major English-speaking countries—the U.S., the U.K., and Australia. The survey yielded useable responses from 1,533 persons 18 years and older.

  • The main findings (applicable to each of the three countries) were as follows:
  • The majority of respondents had previously heard of autonomous or self-driving vehicles, had a positive initial opinion of the technology, and had high expectations about the benefits of the technology.
  • However, the majority of respondents expressed high levels of concern about riding in self-driving vehicles, security issues related to self-driving vehicles, and self-driving vehicle not performing as well as actual drivers.
  • Respondents also expressed high levels of concern about vehicles without driver controls; self-driving vehicles moving while unoccupied; and self-driving commercial vehicles, busses, and taxis.
  • The majority of respondents expressed a desire to have this technology in their vehicle. However, a majority was also unwilling to pay extra for the technology; those who were willing to pay offered similar amounts in each country.
  • Females expressed higher levels of concern with self-driving vehicles than did males. Similarly, females were more cautious about their expectations concerning benefits from using self-driving vehicles.

In comparison to the respondents in the U.K. and Australia, respondents in the U.S. expressed greater concern about riding in self-driving vehicles, data privacy, interacting with non-self-driving vehicles, self-driving vehicles not driving as well as human drivers in general, and riding in a self-driving vehicle with no driver controls available.

The main implications of these results are that motorists and the general public in the three countries surveyed, while expressing high levels of concern about riding in vehicles equipped with this technology, feel positive about self-driving vehicles, have optimistic expectations of the benefits, and generally desire self-driving-vehicle technology when it becomes available (though a majority is not willing to pay extra for such technology at this time).

See: Why Are Americans so Suspicious of Self-Driving Cars? (The Atlantic)

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