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Some people are far more likely to be violent than others, at least according to a recent 2023 study commissioned by FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression), but conducted by College Pulse. The sample size was enormous at roughly 45,000.
Some of the results will surprise you!
Is it okay to use violence to stop a campus speech?
One of the most explosive findings was that Agender people, in response to this prompt: "How acceptable would you say it is for students to engage in the following action to protest a campus speaker? Using violence to stop a campus speech," the results showed that roughly 64% of them said it was at least "rarely" acceptable FuS_QjOXgAIuJZO (1176×870) (twimg.com) , whilst 38% of them said it was at least "sometimes" acceptable, and 8% saying always -- scary! FtEWsUoaUAAU65t (911×611) (twimg.com) . This places them a top of any group as being the most prone to violence over a campus speech.
Queer/Gender fluid is the next worst category for gender having splits (at least "rarely" 49%, at least "sometimes" 22%, and "always" 4%). Non-binary and unsure gender results were only fractionally better with their splits. It should be noted that sample sizes for these groups were: 1,249 for nonbinary, 810 were genderqueer, and 411 agender.
Both males and females were the gender group least likely to cause violence over a speech, with neither group getting at least a "rarely" response more than 20% of the time, females 3% for "sometimes" and 1% for "always", whilst males were 4% and 2% respectively.
In regards to race, a surprising finding was that Native Hawaiians (at least "rarely" 36% - at least "sometimes"15% - "always" 5%) were the most likely to get violent over a campus speech, with only Middle Easterners being marginally better (35%-15%-4%). Asians, Blacks, Hispanics and Mixed races were all roughly the same and significantly less than the previous two, whilst Whites were the least prone to violence (17%-4%-1%).
Super surprisingly, with respect to religion, Buddhists were the most likely to throw hands over speech on campus (30%-10%-2%). Atheists were 2nd (24%-6%-1%). Christians were least likely (11%-3%-1%).
"Something else" was the most likely political category to be violent (29%-7%-2%). Strong Democrats were 2nd (24%-7%-2%). "Independent, lean Republican was the least likely (11%-3%-1% -- exactly the same as Christians).
For the "field of study", African/Afr-American Studies (56%-31%-10%) Ethnicity and Race studies (52%-18%-1%) people were easily the most prone to violence. Real Estate was the least prone to violence and the lowest group out of anything I saw (4%-1%-1%). Jewish Studies should also get a mention (8%-8%-0%).
(use this resource to play around with the data for all above categories) --> 2022 College Free Speech Rankings Data | Tableau Public
Other important questions from the study relating to interference with speeches
Among many other statements, two other interesting statements were given to the students to evaluate how acceptable they are (1) "Block other students from attending a campus speech", and (2) "Shouting down a speaker or trying to prevent them from speaking on campus".
Agender (72%-41%-12%) and Non-binary (65%-33%-6%) were the 1st and 2nd worst genders for answering statement (1), with Non-binary (87%-64%-17%) and Agender (81%-55%-15%) switching places for statement (2). Males were least likely for (1) (33%-11%-3%) and (2) (58%-26%-6%).
Middle Easterners were again the least tolerant race for (1) (47%-22%-5%) and (2) (68%-37%-7%). Whites were the most tolerant for (1) (34%-10%-2%), but "other" was most tolerant for (2) (56%-27%-5%).
For religion, Agnostic (46%-15%-2%), Atheists (44%-15%-2%) and Buddhists (45%-18%-3%) were all about 1st for (1), whilst only Atheists (73%-43%-10%) and Agnostics (75%-41%-7%) were the worst for (2). Christians most tolerant for (1) (29%-9%-1%), and Orthodox Christian for (2) (55%-25%-4%).
Strong Democrats were the worst for (1) (49%-19%-3%) and (2) (77%-47%-9%). Independent, lean Republican were the best for (1) (20%-4%-1%), and Strong Republican was best for (2) (37%-13%-3%).
Field of Studies had African/Afr-American Studies (61%-32%-12%), Ethnicity Studies (61%-28%-6%), and Women's and Gender Studies (and Sexuality) (59%-25%-5%) were the worst for (1), whilst Jewish Studies took the cake for (2) (92%-37%-0%). Ethnicity and Race Studies should get a mention, too (83%-70%-22%). Robotics and Intelligent Systems were the best for (1) (13%-0%-0%), whilst European Cultural Studies were the best for (2) (18%-0%-0%).
What to make of all these statistics?
Anyone who doesn't identity as a man or woman is likely to be against genuine freedom of speech, with the mythical agender and non-binary people the most prone to violence of any groups. Middle Easterners are not quite as bad as the mythical genders, but they certainly don't seem to support freedom of speech either, and thus are the most troublesome race. Whites seem to support freedom of speech the most and are the least likely to be violent over it. Buddhists, Atheists, Agnostics and Strong Democrats are somewhat intolerant, but not as prone to violence as Middle Easterners or the mythical genders. Christians are the most tolerant in all regards. African/Afr-American Studies and Ethnicity Studies people are almost as violent as the mythical genders but won't engage in other disrupting tactics as much (but they are still the worst from any field of study). Real Estate study people were the least violent of any group.
Another interesting recurring theme I found was that Asians were slightly more intolerant of freedom of speech than Blacks, even in regards to violence.
Finally, the worst college for freedom of speech, in accordance with the study's "2022 College Free Speech Rankings," was Columbia University by some margin, garnering an "abysmal" rating of 9.91 (the only "abysmal" rating out of 203 campuses) 2022 College Free Speech Rankings | The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (thefire.org)