WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new study indicates that the majority of Americans are feeling increasingly pressured to self-censor many of their true feelings on a variety of left-leaning social and political topics – both on social media and in the real world – in fear of reprisals and “cancellation” from progressives, leading to some expressing concerns over freedom of speech in today’s world.
Among the many topics that people reported feeling uncomfortable expressing their true opinions on included COVID-19 vaccines and lockdown mandates, abortion, and transgender issues, such as whether or not children should have gender-affirming hormone treatments and surgeries.
The study, conducted by Massachusetts-based Populace between May 23 and June 8 among 3,334 adults, noted that those polled said the opinions they publicly stated when queried about hot-button topics in public often differed – at times greatly – from their actual, privately-held beliefs, for fear of reprisal for not giving the “right” answer.
For example, 60 percent of respondents said that they publicly agreed that mask-wearing was an effective means of curbing the spread of COVID-19, whereas only 47 percent of the same individuals said that they felt this way privately. Similar discrepancies existed as it pertains to pandemic-related lockdown mandates.
67 percent of those polled said that their public opinion on abortion was that IT should be a decision made between a woman and her medical provider without outside intervention; in private, however, 58 percent indicated that this was actually the case.
In terms of the LGBTQ+ community, 63 percent of those who participated in the study publicly agreed that teaching children in kindergarten through grade three about gender identity and trans-related topics was “inappropriate,” whereas that number dropped to 53 percent privately.
But when examined along party lines, responses varied far more wildly, with Republicans far more against teaching gender-related lessons in public schools – 88 percent were against such lessons publicly and 90 percent against it privately – as opposed to Democrats, who were just 30 percent publicly/37 percent privately.
Other topics that were posed in the study to respondents – for a total of 25 overall – included phasing out coal and oil power in favor of electric and wind, prohibiting potentially offensive speech on college campuses, whether or not closing schools during the pandemic did more harm than good, rising crime rates, and more.
“The pressure to misrepresent our private views — to offer answers on politically and socially sensitive questions that are out of sync with our true beliefs — is pervasive in society today,” the study noted among its findings. “Across all demographics, every subgroup had multiple issues with at least a double-digit gap between public and private opinion.”