In the wake of the Me Too reckoning, many have assumed that older and younger women ― second- and third-wave feminists ― have different perspectives on the anti-sexual-violence movement. The older generation allegedly believe younger women need to be less sensitive and essentially buck up, while younger women think older women are out of touch with what constitutes sexual assault and harassment.
A new survey from Vox Media in partnership with Morning Consult, however, disproves this theory by a long shot.
“The results of our survey contradict the idea that there’s a war raging over #MeToo between generations of American women,” Vox’s Anna North wrote. “Instead, we found a lot of similarities across the age divide when it came to what women think about #MeToo ― and what too many of them still experience in the workplace.”
According to the report, published on Tuesday, a majority of women of all ages support the Me Too reckoning and believe the movement fairly represents their interests. Seventy-one percent of women 34 and under and 68 percent of women 35 and older responded that they support the movement. Only 8 percent of women under 35 opposed Me Too, while a slightly larger percentage (14 percent) of women over 35 also opposed it.
The poll was conducted from March 2-8 of this year, and sampled 2,511 women over the age of 18. The survey was conducted online and centered around cis gender people.
Researchers explained why they divided women by this age range: “We chose to compare women ages 18 to 34 with women 35 and over because much media conversation around #MeToo and generational divides focused on millennials. Definitions of ‘millennial’ vary, but most put the oldest members of the generation in their mid-30s today.”
The survey found that younger women were more concerned about the negative outcomes of Me Too than older women.
Thirty-one percent of women under 35 said they were “very” concerned about the Me Too movement causing men to deny women professional opportunities, while only 23 percent of women over 35 agreed. The margin was smaller between younger and older women when asked if they were worried about men being denied due process: 22 percent of younger women and 23 percent of older women said they were “very” concerned about this issue.
Vox and Morning Consult also found another surprising fact: Older and younger women experience similar rates of sexual harassment despite decades of discussions about gender equality in the workplace. Twenty-nine percent of younger women and 33 percent of older women responded that they have experienced sexual harassment at work, although older women are less likely to report the harassment.
Head over to Vox to read the rest of the survey’s results.