21st Century America-Weekly Roundup June 20, 2011

On America's changing demographics:

According to an article by Ronald J. Hansen for The Arizona Republic, the 2010 census data shows that Arizona's rapid growth in population is due largely to a huge increase in the number of children under 10.  Furthermore, ccording to William Schooling, Arizona's state demographer:

Arizona's greatest growth appears to be among relatively young Hispanics, who have higher birth rates than the population as a whole

The implications of all this? Continued or increased demand for services such as child care, teachers and school construction, a possible increase in healthcare costs, and more of a focus on the fastest-growing counties.  The full article has the details.

On the Millennial Generation:

A recent study carried out by the Public Religion Research Institute on abortion and the influence of religion and moral values found that while the millennial generation is slightly more supportive of abortion than the public as a whole (60% compared to 56%), they are significantly more supportive of same sex marriage -- by 15 points -- than any other age group in the population.  A Huffington Post article by James Wagoner analyzes the impact that this and other conclusions from the study will likely have on the 2012 elections.  Some excerpts:

Millennial youth have, as the pollsters state, "a unique, nuanced approach to the issue of abortion, combining strong support for the availability of abortion services and access to birth control with moral reservations."

Millennial youth are major supporters of a broad array of sexual health and rights issues. They not only support same sex marriage and access to abortion, but they also support comprehensive sex education (82%), access to contraception for women who can't afford it (82%), the morality of same sex relationships (57%), and the morality of sex between an unmarried man and woman (70%).

An article by Diane Stafford in the Kansas City Star talks of a new study to be released this month on marketing to the millennial generation.  The study, called “American Millennials: Deciphering the Enigma Generation,” compares the results of 4,000 surveyed millennials with the results from 1,400 baby boomers and analyzes the trends and differences.  According to Barkley (a Kansas City-based advertising and public relations agency that is co-sponsoring the study) Senior Vice President Jeff Fomm, due to the use of Twitter, blog posts and web-based consumer ratings, Millennials:

...communicate on networks nobody owns. We have to learn how to market with them, not to them. We used to be in control of our brand and communicate that to our audience. Now we don’t have as much control.

Women and Minority News:

According to a Bloomberg article by Jonathan D. Salant, Democrats and allied groups are framing Republican moves to cut federal spending through measures such as an end to traditional Medicare and cutting off funding for Planned Parenthood as a war on women, arguing that these and other measures have a disproportionately negative effect on women.  The goal is ultimately to influence the 2012 elections by using these arguments to sway female voters in Obama's favor.  For example,

“The Republicans have handed the Democrats a gift,” said Leonie Huddy, a political science professor at Stony Brook University in New York. “If they play it right, they have exactly the issue that will attract women voters to them.”

In a recent New York Times op-ed, Aziz Huq criticizes Oklahoma's "Sharia ban" and the legislators of six other states who have been debating laws explicitly prohibiting courts from considering or using Sharia law.  He says such laws, in addition to being discriminatory, pointless, and a threat to national security are also largely baseless.  He says:

To begin with, the bans’ justifications are thin. Despite the worries voiced by candidates in the recent Republican candidates’ debate in New Hampshire, no state, county or municipality is about to realign its laws with religious doctrine, Islamic or otherwise. Nor does any state or federal court today in Oklahoma, or anywhere else, need to enforce a foreign rule repugnant to public policy. Under the legal system’s well-established “choice of law” doctrines, the courts are already unlikely to help out someone who claims their religion allows, say, the subordination or mistreatment of women.