Survey: Millennials more liberal on sexuality

A version of this story appeared in the July 3-16, 2015 print issue under the headline: Survey: Millennials more liberal on sexuality.

by Soli Salgado

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A generation most often characterized by its narcissism, underemployment, diversity and tolerance, millennials are also stereotyped as being more liberal than previous generations. And recent numbers show that includes attitudes toward sex and contraception.

A March 2015 survey from the Public Religion Research Institute found that millennials in the U.S. -- those between ages 18 and 35 -- are more progressive than older age groups regarding:

  • Sex education;
  • Health insurance coverage;
  • Sexual health experiences;
  • Contraception;
  • Abortion;
  • The morality of sexual behaviors.

With more than 2,300 respondents, this survey is one of the largest ever conducted among millennials on this topic.

"Millennials really stand out," said Dan Cox, research director at the Public Religion Research Institute. "We think about this generation as sort of the 'kumbaya' generation — most religiously and racially diverse and less judgmental on a whole host of issues. ... We're seeing overall [national] trends move in that direction where millennials have always been."

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