Why do younger generations see virtue signaling can be seen as a good thing?

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Younger generations are more likely than older generations to believe that people should do what they think is best for themselves and their families, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

Younger generations are more likely than older generations to believe that people should do what they think is best for themselves and their families, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. And they are less likely to think that doing what is right for others is the best way to live their lives. The survey also found that the younger generation is more willing than the older generation to take responsibility for their well-being,. This is especially true for young adults, who are about twice as likely as older adults to say that they would be willing to do more than is expected of them to help their family, friends, or community. In addition, the survey finds that younger adults are much more accepting of people who do not conform to traditional gender roles, such as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, than they were a decade ago when a majority of Americans were opposed to same-sex marriage and same-sex sexual activity. More than six in ten (63%) Millennials (age 18-29) say it is at least somewhat likely that someone they know will be gay or lesbian in their lifetime, compared with about half (51%) of Gen Xers (ages 30-49) and about a third (34%) Baby Boomers (aged 50-64). The share of Millennials who say they know someone who is LGBT has increased from about one-quarter (26%) in 2007 to nearly two-thirds (65%) today. Millennials’ views on LGBT issues have changed little over the last decade, but they have become more tolerant of LGBT people in recent years. For example, in 2006, about three-quarters (74%) said it was not at all possible for a person to be both gay and straight at the same time. Today, that share has dropped to just over a quarter (27%), while the share saying that a gay person can be straight and gay has risen from just under a fifth (19%) to almost one in five (18%). In 2007, a slim majority (52%) believed that being gay is a choice, while about as many (48%) thought that gay people were born that way. By contrast, today’s Millennials are far more open to the idea that some people are born gay than were their predecessors. Nearly six in ten (58%) say being born with a certain set of characteristics makes someone gay; by comparison, fewer than half of Generation X (45%) and Boomer (44%) adults say the same thing. Similarly, more Millennials today (54%) than did so in 2005 (46%) believe it’s possible to have both a heterosexual and a homosexual orientation, up from 44% in 2003.
The survey found little change in views about the role of religion in society. About half or more of all Americans say religion is either very important or somewhat important to their daily lives (53% and 53%, respectively), and most (56%) think religion plays an important role in helping people to make good decisions about how to spend their time and money. However, there are significant differences by religious affiliation, with white evangelical Protestants and white mainline Protestants about evenly divided on this question. White Catholics are the only major religious group that is about equally divided (49% very/somewhat important, 49% somewhat/not important). There are also significant generational differences on the question of whether religion has a positive or negative effect on people’s lives, as well as on attitudes about homosexuality. Younger adults (those ages 18 to 29) are significantly more positive about religion than their elders. Among Millennials, however, those ages 30 to 49 are slightly more negative than positive (50% vs. 47%). And among Gen-Xers and Baby-Boomers, views are similar to those of their older counterparts. There is no significant difference between the views of the religiously unaffiliated and those who identify with other religious traditions, including Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Mormons, and members of other non-Christian faiths.

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