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Young Latinas are more progressive (and smarter) than Latino men

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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.

About Adriana Villavicencio

Dr. Adriana Villavicencio is the youngest child of Ecuadorian immigrants. She has moved 29 times in her life, taking her on a journey from California to Bangalore, India, and New York City, where she recently earned a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and works as a Research Associate at New York University. An avid traveler, Adriana has collected experiences in four different continents and 16 different countries. But as a former high school English teacher, some of her fondest memories are those of her brilliant and brilliantly funny students in Brooklyn and Oakland. Adriana has contributed to several publications including the Daily News and, and is a managing editor for the Journal of Equity in Education. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English Education at Columbia University, and currently serves on the board of Columbia’s Latino Alumni Association (LAACU). She enjoys scary movies with red vines, Sauvignon Blanc, and her Maltese dog, Napoleon.

To learn more about Adriana’s education consulting company, please visit

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.


  1. Refugio Murillo says:

    Wow , I’m very excited to these findings. I love been a Mexican and of course, the fact that Latinas are smarter than Latinos. Sounds just right during this crisis; particularly in the small business sector. Now, women, lets exercise those talents and open a new era for businesses leaded by woman, love the idea nevertheless. But remember, that in The Latino community, marriage still remain a trait and for some is a taboo.

  2. Marleny says:

    ha! This article is so off base it’s funny. Defining “smart” because Latinas are most likely to vote in favor of liberal views and citing they are least likely to be religious has nothing to do with being “progressive” or intelligent. It’s a stretch, but good luck in spin journalism :) I am progressive AND conservative! Our nation will continue to suffer as we turn our backs on God and think we are being “progressive” in doing so ;)

  3. As a Latino man I find this study to be extremely insulting. We are so demonized by the media and this is just another example of why Latino brothers need to stand up and demand respect.

    Latino boys are seen as threats to this society and that role is played out daily in schools through out the U.S.A.. From personal experience I know that Latina girls are more likely to be guided or mentored at an early stage.There are great programs out there ( as it should be) that help guide Latina’s toward a college education.However for little Latino boys virtually nothing exist, we are left in the wind trying to define who we are, where we come from,who our ancestors are, what can I do with myself etc..

    Ask yourself this: How many Latino’s do you learn about growing up? Give me 3 examples of great Latino men you where made to study. Per example Martin Luther King he was great but, so was Simon Bolivar, yet our kids will never be taught about him unless we do it ourselves.The only imagery of Latinos being fed to the world is that of the drug dealer,the car thief,the gangster,the sexually obsessed illiterate. Whenever you see a Latina in a movie she is always set along side a Caucasian or an African American,never a Latino unless its based on a true story and the role demands a spanish speaking male protagonist. Latino men are being played! We need to stop funding these vehicles for oppression,it may sound fickle but movies are people windows into other peoples culture,and most of the times defines
    who we perceive one another and most importantly ourselves.Once again Latino men if your listening stop subsidizing the anti-Latino male media!!!! Sit back and look at how our communities are falling apart then stop sitting back and fight for you familia. There is a plan to discredit the Latino family,don’t sleep. Many Latina feel that they have to turn their back on their people in order to succeed.I have seen them come running back to the Barrio when they find that the jobs market wants them because insight is needed into our community.Like the Harvard grad that refused to talk Spanish with me, now shes a big marketing exec married to a white man and get to lead the team in pitching frito lays! lol.

    I have met so many Señorita sell outs that say they don’t date Latino men,its funny because they don’t realize how much self hate they are expressing. One thing I would like to remind all you Latinas out there reading my post ready to run down the list of why everyone else is better marriage material than Latino men just remember one thing….. regardless of who you decide to procreate with in attempt to some how better yourself ,if you ever give birth to a boy, guess what???? he will the Latino you love to hate.

    Latino men hustle hard on that education prove the world wrong.

    Tu hermano Amaurys Odanies Abreu.

    P.S.. I wonder is Fox Latino has anything to do with this article.

  4. Rodrigo says:

    Ja Ja Ja – el club de las chicas “cerebrito liberal” ..

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