Teenagers born after 2000 – the so-called ‘Generation Z’ – are the most socially conservative generation since the Second World War, a new study has found.
The youngsters surveyed had more conservative views on gay marriage, transgender rights and drugs than Baby Boomers, Generation X or Millennials.
The questioned were more prudent than Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers but not quite as cash-savvy as those born in 1945 or before.
Sociology experts class those born in or before 1945 as the Silent Generation; people born between 1946 and 1964 as Baby Boomers; those born between 1965 and 1980 as Generation X; and anyone born between 1980 and 2000 as Millennials.
Only 14 and 15-year-olds were surveyed, by brand consultancy The Gild, as they were classed as being able to form credible opinions by that age.
When asked to comment on same-sex marriage, transgender rights and cannabis legislation, 59 per cent of Generation X teenagers said they had conservative views.
Around 85 per cent of Millennials and those in Generation X had a ‘quite’ or ‘very liberal’ stance overall.
When asked for their specific view on each topic only the Silent Generation was more conservative that Generation Z.
One in seven – 14% – of the 14 and 15-year-olds took a ‘quite conservative’ approach, while only two per cent of Millennials and one per cent of Generation X.
The Silent Generation had a ‘quite conservative’ rating of 34 per cent.
Young people, who have grown up during the 2008 financial crash, were also more prudent and careful with their finances. A quarter of respondents wanted to save money instead of spending cash they didn’t have.
Baby Boomers took a difference approach and said that ‘money is made to be spent’.
Again only the prewar generation came ahead of today’s teenagers for holding an even more shrewd financial head.
As well as being more socially conservative, more than 10 per cent of teenagers were more likely to avoid tattoos.
This compared to only two per cent of Millennials and six per cent of Generation X.
The research, which surveyed more than 2,000 people, forms parallels with recent evidence that young people are less likely to drink and take drugs than their immediate elders.
Sir Mark Walport, the government’s chief scientific adviser, told The Times that technology had had a huge effect on society and teenager’s values.
Computer games and internet use meant they had ‘less time and opportunity to participate in traditional risky behaviours.’