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Dutch youth found to be more conservative than Gen-X

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People in their twenties and thirties in the Netherlands think more conservatively about issues such as abortion and euthanasia than generations that preceded them. This is the conclusion of researchers at Tilburg University.

The research will soon be published in the scientific journal Mens en Maatschappij. In obtaining the results, use was made of data from a European study that has been running for almost forty years, the AD writes. Over the years, around 7,000 Dutch people gave their opinion on issues such as abortion, euthanasia, suicide and homosexuality.

A large number of respondents still have no problems with these topics, and overall acceptance has grown. It is striking, however, that for the first time since the data is available, the younger generation views are more conservative than those of previous generations.

For example, 8.1 percent of people in their twenties and 11.5 percent of people in their thirties feel that abortion is not possible, while that percentage for those in their fifties and sixties is slightly above 7 percent. The researchers speak of a ‘new conservatism’ that has nothing to do with religion.

“Younger generations seem to be looking for a new structure to hang their identity on,” says sociologist Quita Muis. “In addition, they end up with things from the past.”

According to Muis, there has been a break in the trend:

“That the Netherlands is becoming increasingly progressive has clearly stopped.”

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