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Nine in 10 student leftists say they have ‘strong’ tolerance for different beliefs

Did you know that left-leaning students are really the most tolerant people around?

That’s the counterintuitive (and self-reported) finding from the new annual report by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA.

The institute interviewed more than 137,000 full-time first-year students for the 2016 report, and here’s what they found:

The survey also pointed to differences in students’ views of their own empathy for others. For example, 86.6 percent of students who called themselves left-of-center said their tolerance of people with different beliefs is “strong” or “somewhat strong,” compared 82.0 percent of centrist students and 68.1 percent of right-of-center students.

Students also seem to be internalizing their “snowflake” label:

For the first time in the survey’s history, less than half (47.3 percent) of students consider their mental health to be above average relative to their peers. A record-high of 11.9 percent reported “frequently” feeling depressed in the past year, and 13.9 percent said there was a “very good chance” they would seek personal counseling in college.

Also for the first time, the survey asked students how often they had felt anxious in the past year; 34.5 percent of all students said they felt that way “frequently,” while among students who have psychological disorders, the figure was 79.5 percent.

Another survey first: Fewer students than ever are describing themselves politically as “middle of the road,” just 42 percent. “Liberal or far-left” students were 35 percent of the survey, and “conservative or far-right,” 22 percent.

The survey found a strong gender gap in a few areas. There’s a 12-point gap between liberal or far-left women (41 percent) and men (29 percent), and women are far more likely to favor “strict gun control laws” (75 percent) than men (59 percent).

Despite (or perhaps because of) their dominance in college enrollment, nearly twice as many women (66 percent) are worried about how to finance their college educations than men (34 percent).

Read the survey results.

h/t Chronicle of Higher Education

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