Hell hath no fury: a gender-dichotomized analysis predicting pro-life/pro-death penalty attitudes

People who are strongly pro-life rely on the argument that life is sacred and the willful taking of it is wrong, yet some of these same people also endorse capital punishment as a penalty for murder. This presents a seeming ideological conflict because the assumption that life is sacred applies in o...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:The journal of religion & society
Authors: Gau, Jacinta M. 1982- ; Wiecko, Filip M.
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: Creighton University 2010
In: The journal of religion & society
Year: 2010, Volume: 12
Further subjects:B Capital Punishment
B Gender
B Abortion
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Summary:People who are strongly pro-life rely on the argument that life is sacred and the willful taking of it is wrong, yet some of these same people also endorse capital punishment as a penalty for murder. This presents a seeming ideological conflict because the assumption that life is sacred applies in one context, but, apparently, not in the other. The current study uses a religious framework to examine the people who simultaneously take a strongly pro-life stance, but who also support the death penalty (i.e., are pro-death penalty). The consistent finding from past literature that women tend to be more religious than men necessitates dividing the sample by gender to determine if and how gender interacts with religion in the formation of pro-life/pro-death penalty attitudes. Finally, the reference group theory of religious affiliation is the proposed theoretical mechanism by which religious fundamentalism translates into the holding of these attitudes. Results support the hypothesis that reference group theory explains Christian fundamentalists' membership in the pro-life/pro-death penalty group and that this relationship is likely applicable to women more so than to men. Implications for the study of religion and public policy are made.
ISSN:1522-5658
Contains:Enthalten in: The journal of religion & society
Persistent identifiers:HDL: 10504/64600