As outspoken as millennials tend to be, a surprisingly great number of them support more government regulation of free speech, according to new data.
Four in 10 people aged 18-34 said they believed that the government should be able to prevent speech that is offensive to minorities, according to survey data from the Pew Research Center. Only 58% said such speech should not be restricted.
The proportion of millennials (40%) who indicated support of a ban on speech offensive against minorities is much greater than that of older generations: only 27% of Gen Xers (aged 35-50) and 24% of baby boomers (aged 51-69) said they supported such speech restriction. Those from the Silent Generation (aged 70-87) were the most opposed, with only 12% expressing support.
In comparison to other nations surveyed by Pew, however, Americans overall are less likely to support government regulation of free speech. Nearly seven in 10 Americans (68%) do not believe in government limiting speech offensive to minorities, while only a median of 35% among 38 other nations said the same.
Among Americans, non-whites are more likely to support government intervention in offensive speech toward minorities (38%) than non-Hispanic whites (23%).
As well, the survey found that Democrats (35%), those with a high school degree or less (31%) and women (33%) were more likely to say the government should regulate speech toward minorities than Republicans (18%), those with at least a college degree (22%) and men (23%).
Millennials in Germany and Spain were more likely to say people’s right to offensive speech toward minorities should not be regulated by the government than those 35 and older. UK millennials, however, were more in line with American millennials in their support of governmental restrictions as compared to older adults in the country.