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Americans Value Their Family Identity Over Religion, Race, Political Party, Or Career


A new poll reveals new insights into the lives of American families, examining attitudes on issues including sexual harassment, teens and tech, how people form relationships and the definition of manhood. The fourth annual American Family Survey also looked at how family experiences shape attitudes on policy issues including immigration, tax cuts, and Planned Parenthood. Findings include:

  • People place more importance on their identity as a parent than other identities, and that’s especially true of minorities: 61% of blacks, 52% of Hispanics and 42% of whites said being a parent was “extremely” important to them.
  • Among all Americans, a majority said their family identities were “very” or “extremely” important to the parent (71%), spouse/partner (70%) – while fewer said the same of religion (43%), career/job (37%), community (30%), race (29%), and political party (28%).
  • 45% of blacks and 18% of Hispanics said race was “very” or “extremely” important to them, compared with 9% of whites.
  • Nearly six in 10 women said they have experienced unwanted sexual advances. For men, the number was less than three in 10.
  • Women have higher standards for what counts as sexual harassment. For example, 71% of women said asking for sexual favors always constitutes sexual harassment, compared to 49% of men. The study also found that certain actions by men towards women are more likely to be seen as sexual harassment than the same actions by women towards men. Women also place higher importance on consent.
  • Among parents of teenagers, 53% said overuse of technology is among the biggest issues facing teenagers. Bullying came in second (45%). Only a third of parents named pressure to use drugs or alcohol.
  • Parents estimated that their teenage sons spent about 24 hours a week playing video games, while their teenage girls spent almost 24 hours a week on social media.