The rise of the “wise Latina” has at long last come to an end. Latinas have finally arrived.
According to a new study released by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University, Latinas between the ages of 18 and 29 are the most progressive group in the country.
Eighty-two percent of Latinas in the age group voted to reelect President Obama, and young Latinas were the most likely to self-identify as “liberal.” Only 29 percent of Latinas over 30 identified as liberals, nearly half as many as those under 30.
Young Latinas are also much more progressive than their male counterparts. Latino men under 30 were the largest youth group to vote for Romney, and young Latino men were more likely to vote Republican than any other minority group.
Interestingly enough, young Latinas seem to be the least religious group among all Latinos.
Label me an ideologue, but I tend to relate forward-thinking views with higher brain function. To support marriage equality, women’s reproductive rights, secularism, social welfare programs, a more defensive Defense Department and a regulated economy requires a mind that can accurately judge the world as it is and push it to where it needs to be.
Conservative principles, in contrast — at least the ones trotted out for the American public by Romney, Ryan and the gang — are so Aristotelian, so flat-earth. Progressivism is E=MC2.
That young Latinas get that more than any other minority group demonstrates something important.
Growing progressivism among young Latinas mirrors the increasing educational attainment among Latinas generally. A 2010 study by the American Council on Education’s Center for Policy Analysis showed that Latinas were receiving bachelor’s degrees much more than Latino men — 18 percent and 10 percent, respectively.
Add to this that science is discovering a link between intelligence and political views, and it would appear that Latinas are more progressive than Latino men because — gulp! — Latinas are the more intelligent of the two.
From the Washington Post:
“Liberals and conservatives have access to the same information, yet they hold wildly incompatible views on issues ranging from global warming to whether the president was born in the United States to whether his stimulus package created any jobs. But it’s not just that: Partisanship creates stunning intellectual contortions and inconsistencies. Republicans today can denounce a health-care reform plan that’s pretty similar to one passed in Massachusetts by a Republican — and the only apparent reason is that this one came from a Democrat.
None of these things make sense — unless you view them through the lens of political psychology. There’s now a large body of evidence showing that those who opt for the political left and those who opt for the political right tend to process information in divergent ways and to differ on any number of psychological traits.
Perhaps most important, liberals consistently score higher on a personality measure called ‘openness to experience,’ one of the ‘Big Five’ personality traits, which are easily assessed through standard questionnaires. That means liberals tend to be the kind of people who want to try new things, including new music, books, restaurants and vacation spots — and new ideas.
‘Open people everywhere tend to have more liberal values,’ said psychologist Robert McCrae, who conducted voluminous studies on personality while at the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health.
Conservatives, in contrast, tend to be less open — less exploratory, less in need of change — and more ‘conscientious,’ a trait that indicates they appreciate order and structure in their lives. This gels nicely with the standard definition of conservatism as resistance to change — in the famous words of William F. Buckley Jr., a desire to stand ‘athwart history, yelling Stop!’”
Of course, such findings are controversial, to say the least. But it seems pretty reasonable to presume that, given the same information, different brains would reach different conclusions.
So, my fellow Latino men, we may be forced to finally admit something that Latinas themselves have been telling us for years: Latinas are smarter than us.
And to the Latinas, who seem destined to conquer the world, just let me say that I’ve been rooting for you all along.