Confidence in Democracy and Capitalism Wanes in Former Soviet Union
Two decades after the Soviet Union’s collapse, Russians, Ukrainians, and Lithuanians are unhappy with the direction of their countries and disillusioned with the state of their politics. Enthusiasm for democracy and capitalism has waned considerably and most believe the changes that have taken place have had a negative impact on many aspects of public life.
The American-Western European Values Gap
Americans’ values differ significantly from those of their Western Europeans counterparts. Although this gap is long-standing, current polling shows Americans coming closer to Europeans in not seeing their culture as superior to others.
Teens, Kindness and Cruelty on Social Network Sites
A comprehensive study finds that almost seven-in-ten American teens who use social networking sites say that people their age are mostly kind to one another on the sites; another 20% say that they are mostly unkind. Most teens say they have witnessed other people being mean or cruel to each other on the sites.
The Generation Gap and the 2012 Election
In the last four national elections, generation has mattered more in American elections than it has in decades. This continues to be true as voters look ahead toward the 2012 general election. In a contest between President Obama and Mitt Romney, there is a 20-point gap in support for Obama between Millennials and the over-65 Silent generation.
Muslim Americans: No Signs of Growth in Alienation or Support for Extremism
While a majority of Muslim Americans say they have endured suspicion and enhanced scrutiny since the 9/11 attacks nearly 10 years ago, a wide-ranging survey finds no indication of increased alienation and anger or rising support for Islamic extremism. On the contrary, majorities of Muslim Americans express concern about the possible rise of Islamic extremism, both here and abroad.
How Accurate Are Counts of Same-Sex Couples?
Two decades after the Census Bureau began offering people the option to describe themselves as a same-sex “unmarried partner,” producing accurate numbers on same-sex couples remains a challenge.
Rising Restrictions on Religion
More than 2.2 billion people — nearly a third (32%) of the world’s total population of 6.9 billion — live in countries where either government restrictions on religion or social hostilities involving religion rose substantially between mid-2006 and mid-2009.
Most Say Political Sex Scandals Due to Greater Scrutiny, Not Lower Morality
A 57%-majority says elected officials just get caught more often because they are under greater scrutiny. About two-in-ten (19%), on the other hand, say elected officials have lower moral standards than ordinary Americans.
Most Say Homosexuality Should Be Accepted By Society
While the public is divided over same-sex marriage, a majority of Americans (58%) say that homosexuality should be accepted, rather than discouraged, by society. But there are wide political and religious differences in opinions on this measure.
Civil War at 150: Still Relevant, Still Divisive
A century and a half after the firing on Fort Sumter, most Americans say the war between the North and South is still relevant to American politics and public life today. In a nation that has long endured deep racial divisions, the history of that era continues to elicit strong reactions. Nearly half of the public (46%) says it is inappropriate for today’s public officials to praise the leaders of the Confederate states during the war; 36% say such statements are appropriate.