Social Justice

A quarter of young men think feminism is harming society. It's proof of a growing Gen Z divide

Exclusive polling shared with The Big Issue adds to growing evidence of younger people being split on gender issues, with a third of young men looking favourably upon Andrew Tate

Andrew Tate, feminism

A third of young men have a favourable view of Andrew Tate. Image: ROBERT GHEMENT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

One in three young men have a favourable view of Andrew Tate, and a third say feminism has done more harm than good for society, polling shared exclusively with The Big Issue reveals.

On average, a quarter of men agree with the idea that feminism has made society worse, according to research by Savanta, revealing a deepening divide of misogyny among young people.

The new polling, released on International Women’s Day, adds to growing evidence of a generational split. Research in February found Gen Z are becoming “polarised” on gender issues, with young men more likely to resist immigration and resent changing social norms.

“The broad trend over several generations has been young people – no matter their gender – becoming increasingly more socially liberal. But our research suggests that progress has stalled significantly with this generation of young men,” said Emma Levin, associate director at Savanta.

It’s generally believed generations get more liberal over time, but that view is being challenged. Image: Big Issue

Just 11% of women aged 16-34 had a favourable view of Tate.

There’s also a sizeable gender split in how young people see Taylor Swift: 47% of young women had a favourable view, compared to 37% of young men. However, the lowest approval rating of Swift among any demographic was among women aged 65 and above, at 27%, while her highest approval rating was with women aged 35-44.

What’s behind the splits on gender issues? One explanation is exposure to online misogyny. A third of men say they’ve seen content in the last 12 months which suggests women are responsible for the problems facing men.

The polling also suggests young men are less able to identify content using hate speech against women, with women more likely to say they had been exposed to the content.

“The impact this is having on men in particular could have serious long-term ramifications for British society. We may be unconsciously facilitating a generation of young men with backwards views to women, and need to address this before it becomes too late,” said Levin.

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