SALT LAKE CITY, Nov. 28, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- A national poll released today reveals new insights into the lives of American families, examining attitudes on issues including sexual harassment, teens and tech, how people form relationships and the definition of manhood. The fourth annual American Family Survey also looked at how family experiences shape attitudes on policy issues including immigration, tax cuts and Planned Parenthood.
"In this time of deep partisan identities and divisions, it can be easy to label someone as 'right' or 'left,' but our survey shows that personal experience and family life can greatly influence a person's political beliefs, and not on strict conservative or liberal lines," said Boyd Matheson, opinion editor of the Deseret News.
Key findings include:
People place more importance on their identity as a parent than other identities, and that's especially true of minorities: 61 percent of blacks, 52 percent of Hispanics and 42 percent of whites said being a parent was "extremely" important to them.
Among all Americans, a majority said their family identities were "very" or "extremely" important to them — parent (71 percent), spouse/partner (70 percent) — while fewer said the same of religion (43 percent), career/job (37 percent), community (30 percent), race (29 percent), and political party (28 percent).
Forty-five percent of blacks and 18 percent of Hispanics said race was "very" or "extremely" important to them, compared with nine percent of whites.
Sexual Harassment and Consent
Nearly six in 10 women said they have experienced unwanted sexual advances. For men, the number was less than three in 10.
Women have higher standards for what counts as sexual harassment. For example, Seventy-one percent of women said asking for sexual favors always constitutes sexual harassment, compared to 49 percent of men. The study also found that certain actions by men towards women are more likely to be seen as sexual harassment than the same actions by women towards men. Women also place higher importance on consent.
Teens and Technology
Among parents of teenagers, more than half (53 percent) said overuse of technology is among the biggest issues facing teenagers. Bullying came in second (45 percent). Only a third of parents named pressure to use drugs or alcohol.
Parents estimated that their teenage sons spent about 24 hours a week playing video games, while their teenage girls spent almost 24 hours a week on social media.
Other findings include:
A gap in Trump approval between Americans who are married and those who aren't
More support for allowing immigrants to bring immediate family members to the U.S. among people who are married and have children
Additional findings on what influences decisions to have children; Americans' ideals about sex before marriage compared to their practices; whether people believe Republican tax cuts will help their family; the cost of raising a family today; and many more.
The American Family Survey is an annual, nationwide study of 3,000 Americans by the Deseret News and the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at Brigham Young University and conducted by YouGov. Now in its fourth year, the survey is designed to understand the experiences of Americans in their relationships, marriages and families, and how those experiences relate to a variety of public policy issues.