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updated: Sep 01, 2012, 1:00 PM
By Kelsey Abkin
With the stir of the Republican National Convention dominating my government class, students are
beginning to voice their opinions on controversial matters. As we all forty students, each near the age of
eighteen but all from different backgrounds, sit in one room I am able to see and get a better
understanding of what shapes young American voters. The split in opinions seemed to occur based off
of two things, family background and gender.
Knowing the teenagers in my class for three years now, I had gained a good sense of their backgrounds.
For the most part it was clear that teenagers whose parents owned a business or were of strong wealth,
built up a strong dislike towards democrats and Obama strictly for the reason of wanting to keep their
money. This may seem completely fair to them but it seems to me that this opinion doesn't take the
future into account. On the other hand, students whose parents were of the working or middle class
agreed with Obama as they saw that money given to government would create a more balanced and
The second split is one not heavily discussed yet it appeared very obvious in my class. Boys leaned
toward right wing while girls, the left wing. It seemed that teenage boys talking about big business gave
them a sense of being macho. Their main thought was money while girls' seemed to be social issues.
Every girl leaned to the left as they argued pro-abortion, woman's rights, and government funded
programs such as Planned Parenthood. With money not the main focus of girls' minds at this age it
seemed they were able to make a more just decision based on general well-being.
These two observations may not always be true in the real world but they definitely pertained to my
class. It may not seem important what spurs a teenager's mind when it comes to politics but I find it
very important as these are our future voters. Half of these students will be casting ballots November
6th to determine which direction the future of America will go.
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