Coeds divided

Survey of college freshmen finds political, gender gaps

A recent study of U.S. college freshmen by UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute found that students are more divided politically than they’ve been in the last 50 years. The study, which began in 1966, found that 42.3 percent of first-year students described their political leanings as “middle of the road,” as opposed to 35.5 percent who say they’re liberal or far left, and 22.2 percent conservative or far right. Among other key findings was that men and women differed in their leanings more than in previous years, with 41.1 percent of women identifying as liberal or far left, compared to 28.9 percent of men, and 75.4 percent of women saying they support stricter gun control laws, versus 58.8 percent of men.