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Trend study sparks fundamental debate on growing gender divide 

The New York Times published 2 articles about our international trend study ‘’Polarization extends into gender via young people who lose hope’’.  

The first article ‘‘The Gender Gap Is Now a Gender Gulf’’ was written by Columbia University Journalism Professor and Political Columnist Thomas Edsall. Thomas writes a weekly column for the New York Times on politics, demographics and inequality.  

The second article ‘‘Less Marriage, Less Sex, Less Agreement’’ was written by Nicholas Kristof, winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, a regular CNN contributor and an op-ed columnist for The New York Times writing about foreign and domestic issues. 

Below you find the links to the articles and a few quotes related to our findings. It is clear that the international trends we discovered using the values based Glocalities research methodology are fundamental and have profound implications for both the social and political realm.  

Less Marriage, Less Sex, Less Agreement 

In his article that can be read at Nicholas Kristof puts our results on the growing gender divide in perspective referring to research from The Economist and PEW: 

‘’A poll across 20 countries by the Glocalities research group found “a growing divide between young men and young women” in political and social outlook, while The Economist examined polling across rich countries and likewise found that young women are becoming significantly more liberal as young men are becoming somewhat more conservative. A study by Pew found that compared with never-married women, never-married men in the United States are 50 percent more likely to align with Republicans.’’  

‘’One gauge of the rightward drift of young men: In 2014 men ages 55 to 65 were the most conservative group, according to the Glocalities data, while now young men are more conservative than older ones.’’ 

In his column Kristof also cites a Brookings publication that refers to our trend study: ‘’ The gender gap is easiest to measure in politics, but the Brookings Institution warned last week that it “also appears in measures other than politics and points to some deeper and potentially even more concerning issues among young people.”  

Kristof says: ‘’To me, the fundamental problem is the struggle of men to adapt to a world in which brawn matters less than brains, education and emotional intelligence.’’ And lastly ‘’I worry that gender frictions may grow and add tension to modern life, leaving more people facing the world alone with no one to snuggle up to and provide long-term comfort.’’ 

The Gender Gap Is Now a Gender Gulf 

In his article that can be read at Thomas Edsall looks at the results from our trend study from the perspective of the presidential elections in the US:  

‘’ The growing gender divide between young men and women in the United States is part of a decade-long international trend, according to a survey of 300,000 men and women in 20 mostly advanced nations. In “Polarization Extends Into Gender via Young Adults Who Lose Hope,” Glocalities, a marketing firm based in the Netherlands, found that ‘’Young women have significantly strengthened their embrace of liberal and anti-patriarchal values over the last decade while young men increasingly are lagging behind in this trend.’’  

Both here and abroad, Glocalities reported: 

Feelings of hopelessness, societal disillusionment and rebelling against cosmopolitan values partly explain the rise of radical right anti-establishment parties. Now young men are stagnating in their progress toward liberal values, the radical right in many countries increasingly resonates with disillusioned conservative segments among them, who do not feel that establishment parties are serving their interests.’’ 

‘’ In the case of young men, we interpret the stagnating progress of men on the control-freedom axis to be caused by factors that affect their ambitions first and foremost. Given that their values focus a lot on success, status, recognition et cetera, the current situation does not facilitate this ambition. Because of this they not only become more pessimistic (as we see happening in the United States even more than in Europe), but also become more susceptible to populist forces and a “politics of bravery.’’  

What does the future hold? “Based on the research outcomes, we expect the conflict between emancipatory/feminist values and patriarchal beliefs among young men and women to become more intense.” 

At Glocalities we will keep on researching the topic, the international trends and consequences. The full international trend survey report can be downloaded at 

Martijn Lampert

Research Director

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