Study: Peers, Not Profs, Influence Student Views

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

UNDATED (AP) - You may not recognize the child you sent off to
college a couple of years ago. Or maybe it's just your child's
politics that have changed.
New research finds that on a range of issues, including
abortion, gay marriage and religion, college students shift
noticeably to the left from the time they arrive on campus through
their junior year.
But the researchers believe faculty members aren't to blame.
Instead, they say it's the influence of fellow students. They've
found that at most colleges, left-leaning peer groups are more
common than conservative ones.
Once students leave college, the study finds, they move somewhat
back to the right politically. And that's particularly true for
women.
The research, from UCLA, is the latest of several efforts to
shed some light on an issue that's long been debated. College
faculty generally lean left politically, but there's been sharp
disagreement on whether the instructors impose their views on
students.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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