Election, emojis, aliens: here’s what YOU say

Teen spirit: The Day’s readers are generally aged between 11 and 18.

Do teenagers know best? Each term, The Day runs daily polls to find out what you think about everything — from international politics to the Loch Ness monster. What did you have to say?

He’s making a list, he’s checking it twice...

Or is he? Not according to the 91% of you who think that parents shouldn’t lie to their children about Father Christmas.

In fact, The Day’s readers are struggling to decide where to buy presents this year. Just under half (48%) of you are boycotting Amazon, after the company was accused of abusing workers’ rights.

This was not the only time you supported direct action. Back in October, 91% of you thought that the England football team should have walked off the pitch after receiving racist abuse during the Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Just a week later, 94% backed Prince Harry and Meghan’s decision to speak out against unfair treatment by the media, which the couple believe is partly driven by racism.

The UK’s general election is at last finished, but only 26% of you are happy about the result. This figure reflects the generational gap seen in last Thursday’s vote, when 21% of 18 to 24-year-olds voted for the Conservatives versus 67% of those aged over 70. And 84% of you think that Russia meddled in the election campaign.

Transgender issues were high on the agenda in 2019. After we wrote about Vogue magazine’s first-ever third gender cover star, just 10% said they believed a third gender exists. However, almost four in five of you want to normalise men giving birth.

It was also the year that Emma Watson declared herself “self-partnered”, but The Day’s readers are old-fashioned romantics. An overwhelming 84% of you think that traditional romantic relationships are here to stay.

Looking to the stars, 91% of you think that we have zero chance of finding life on Mars. Time to cast our search wider: 88% of you think distant planets are worth exploring.

In a year of sporting controversies, 51% of you think that doping should legalised in competitive sports; less than one in five of you would like to see medicinal cannabis ⁠— which can ease symptoms of epilepsy and chronic pain⁠ — become legally available.

What scientific boundaries will be pushed in the 2020s? This year, scientists in China produced the first-ever human-monkey hybrid. Over half of you (51%) think we should cross animals with humans.

Do young people know best?

“People underestimate the power of a young mind that is new to everything and experiencing for the first time,” 18-year-old singer Billie Eilish told NME earlier this year. “We’re being ignored and it’s so dumb. We know everything.”

But adults might disagree. Take banning plastic, for example. It may sound good but, in reality, it will be extremely difficult to carry out. It could seriously damage a lot of businesses, putting jobs at risk and generally causing chaos. As you get older, you learn how complex life is and that change takes time.

You Decide

  1. Is the majority always right?
  2. Who knows better: teenagers or their elders?

Activities

  1. Choose the three results that you find most surprising. Talk about your decisions in pairs.
  2. As a class, choose the most interesting debate mentioned in this article. Nominate speakers on both sides and have a class debate.

Some People Say...

“The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. (1809-1894), US physician and poet

What do you think?

Q & A

What do we know?
There were many results that we couldn’t include in this story. Only 4% of you think that it is time to drop Remembrance Sunday. After the horrors of the London Bridge attack committed by a released terrorist, fought off by another released prisoner, 58% of you think that prisoners should get early release.
What do we not know?
Some great mysteries remain, but The Day’s readers are open to the supernatural. Two-thirds of you believe there is a great monster lurking beneath the surface of Scotland’s Loch Ness. Meanwhile, 75% of you believe in astrology.

Word Watch

Workers’ rights
Workers are typically expected to process a package every nine seconds from 7.30am to 6pm, with many urinating in plastic bottles to avoid being fired on the spot. After an employee collapsed and died on the warehouse floor, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health placed Amazon on its 2019 Dirty Dozen list of the most dangerous employers in the USA.
Direct action
The use of strikes and other forms of public protest to achieve your demands.
Racist abuse
When England beat Bulgaria 6-0, play was halted twice in response to the behaviour of hooded Bulgaria fans, who performed Nazi salutes and shouted monkey chants at black players, including defender Tyrone Mings. In the run-up to the match, new England recruit Tammy Abraham had suggested that England would walk off the pitch if they faced racist abuse from fans.
21%
According to YouGov.
Men giving birth
Journalist and transgender man Freddy McConnell made a documentary about his experience of pregnancy and birth.
Doping
Mo Farah’s coach Alberto Salazar was banned from sports for four years in October after years of misconduct.

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