The Atlantic: Conservative Students Really Do Self-Censor on Campus

Free Speech College
AFP PHOTO/Josh Edelson

A column published in the Atlantic on Sunday provided evidence for the claim that conservative students engage in self-censorship on campus. A new survey out of the University of North Carolina revealed that many students censor themselves in the classroom to avoid facing academic or social repercussions.

According to a column in the Atlantic, a new research study backs up the claim that conservative students censor their own opinions on college campuses.

The study, which was highlighted on Sunday by columnist Conor Friedersdorf, was conducted last spring by three professors at the University of North Carolina. The professors surveyed more than 1,000 students about their willingness to express their political beliefs on campus.

Summarizing the study’s finding, Friedersdorf said that the survey revealed that there actually is a faction of students that believe it is permissible to shut down speech that they find offensive. More importantly, the survey revealed that students across the political spectrum engage in self-censorship. Conservatives, in particular, might be more inclined to do so because the survey revealed that disparaging comments about conservative viewpoints are common on campus.

  • While majorities favor more viewpoint diversity and free-speech norms, an intolerant faction of roughly a quarter of students believe it is okay to silence or suppress some widely held views that they deem wrong.
  • Students across political perspectives engage in classroom self-censorship.
  • Students harbor divisive stereotypes about classmates with different beliefs, and a substantial minority are not open to engaging socially with classmates who don’t share their views.
  • Disparaging comments about political conservatives are common.

Concerns over self-censorship on college campuses are not new. Breitbart News reported in October 2016 that on a Yale student survey that revealed that students felt that conservative views were “unwelcome” on campus. An astonishing 75 percent of Yale student respondents said that Yale does not “provide a welcoming environment for conservative students to share their opinions on political issues.”

A survey by College Pulse found that 73 percent of strongly conservative students self-censor to protect their grades.

Stay tuned to Breitbart News for more campus updates.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.