Fundamentalist Christians more inclined toward domestic violence

A recent study of Christian college students indicates that the more Fundamentalist their beliefs, the more likely they are to engage in or approve of domestic abuse and violence.

Texas Tech professors and Jerome Koch Ignacio Luis Ramirez conducted a study of 626 undergraduate students. The survey measured general religiosity (belief in God, strength of faith, etc.) using questions from the General Social Survey and “fundamentalism” based on a six-item scale previously used in research published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.

The researchers found that “general religiosity” was not associated with psychologically or physically abusive behavior, nor with approval of domestic violence. However, “fundamentalism” was positively correlated with both physically abusive behavior and approval of domestic violence. The more fundamentalist the belief system, the more likely the believer was to support or engage in physically abusive and violent domestic behavior.

The full study may be read online here.

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File under "No shit Sherlock"
Yeah, all three douche bags who beat my sister, when she was dating them in high school, were Fundamentalist assholes.
While the study is interesting and seems to confirm suspicions, it leaves a few questions unanswered.

1. I did not fully understand their distinction between general religiosity and fundamentalism. After all, it says that "religious belief and practice (religiosity) is shown to have no impact on the likelihood of intimate partner violence," even if that religious behavior supports corporal punishment--largely because of community disapproval. In other words, the more people show up in church, the less likely they are to have their partner show up with a black eye. On the other hand, this suggest that the calming effect is a result of social sanction, rather than religion. It then goes on to say that, "The greater the level of Christian fundamentalist beliefs among our respondents, the more likely they were to approve of violence and to use violent behavior in their intimate relationships." Again, I am not sure of the difference between fundamentalism and religion here, or why social sanction does not exist within fundamentalism, where one would certainly expect it. Clearer definitions are needed.
2. The scope was two schools in the southwestern United States. Since this is an ethnically diverse region with a large Hispanic population, more information on the breakdown of respondents by ethnicity would have been interesting. Similarly, more information would be interesting on the economic background of the respondents. Is violence more likely among Hispanics, Blacks, or whites. Is it more likely among lower or higher socioeconomic groups. I can guess at answers but stats would be nice.
3. A third factor would also be interesting--what is the level of violence among the least religious of the respondents. Knowing that would help to understand the role of ethnicity and socioeconomics.
It's an interesting paper, but it needs more information.
You could be a very religious liberal Christian. Go to church once a week or more, constantly tithe, help out with all the church events, but not be a fundamentalist.
Could be. I am also curious about denominations, especially since this area has a high Catholic and significant Mormon population as well.
I think I can somewhat explain your #1. It's yellow and smells sort of like ammonia.

Heh, sorry, childish moment. Anyway, your first question. Essentially, fundamentalism is what you believe, and religiosity is how intensely you believe it.

You can get some very liberal Christians who pray to God non-stop and talk about how God is love, and how warm and fuzzy She is, to anyone who doesn't immediately plug their ears and start singing to blot out the sound.

Fundamentalism is the literalness of their interpretation of the Bible, Koran, or whatever, particularly the vicious, Old Testament stuff that calls for repression and murder of anyone who doesn't believe.
What I find interesting is religiosity is a wash. Only be a fundamentalism matters. To be honest, I'm surprised religiosity is a wash...but there are all lot of different cultures that are part of Christianity so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I'll just add it to the "learned something new today" category.
Yeah, I can sort of see this. There are some very religious, yet very wishy-washy people. It's the ones who take their Bible VERY literally who are more likely to repress women, I think. Those are the fundamentalists.
Well when one's Unquestionable Tome of Authority condones beating, raping, torturing, enslaving women...
Nah, that can't be it.
It's a combination of a rigid inflexible mindset along with the literal belief in a text that advocates violence. I wonder how this kind of study would be among religions that have fundamentalists but don't have central texts condoning violence...




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