Archive for April, 2011

Falling Fortunes: Sectarian Protestantism and Occupational Mobility


Upward and Downward Mobility Ratios compared to Sectarians: White Men GSS 1973-20008

I’ve been working on several things on religion and stratification, and one of them looks at occupational attainment. We know that there is a stratification hierarchy of religion, and despite claims that denominational differences have declined, no serious study has found anything other than persistent differences—liberal protestants and Jews have more education, more lucrative occupations, higher incomes, and greater wealth. But, does religion play a role in intergenerational mobility? Conservative Christian activist scholars suggest that the values of conservative religion foster better childrearing outcomes (with no proof, of course), and if this is true then sectarian christian children should be more likely to outdistance daddy in occupational attainment, right? And, if daddy holds a professional occupation, a sectarian boy will be much more likely to also follow in the steps of the limp patriarch, eh? No.

Above I present the odds ratios comparing the relative odds of upward mobility (attaining a professional occupation when your father  was in a manual job) and downward mobility  (holding a manual job when your father was a professional) for white men in the GSS. Sectarians are significantly less likely to become professionals if their father held a manual job when compared to any other religious grouping.  Worse yet, sectarian Protestants reared by fathers with professional occupations are significantly more likely to hold manual jobs when compared to respondents with other religious attachments. Notably, moderate Protestants, Catholics, Other Religions, and respondents with no religious identification are remarkably similar in their rates of upward and downward mobility. Liberal protestants are strongly advantaged when compared to all other groups with the exception of Jews, who outdistance the mainliners almost two to one on upward mobility.

The War Against Women, continued….


Opposition to Abortion by Decade and "condition": NORC GSS

The rise of Christian Nationalist candidates in the last series of elections has yielded quite an array of anti-immigrant, anti-gay, and anti-woman legislation. I’ve been fascinated by the latest bunch of sick-fuck bills which put onerous and even unenforceable restrictions on abortion. And, the radical right is now even targeting rape victims! That’s right. You were raped? We’ll need to investigate that, open wide. Sick fucks.

It got me thinking. The religious right really just wants to shame women to try to justify their own primitive family arrangements, and I wondered if this emerging  legislation trend is evident in public opinion. And Low. Verily. Even. Overall  opposition to abortion declines across the four decades of the NORC General Social Survey (our only scientific study with comparable high quality data across four decades) —in the 1970s the “pure choice” perspective—believing a woman should be able to get an abortion “for any reason” was opposed by 65% of respondents, and this fell to 62% in the 1980s and 56% in the 1990s, but increased to 59% in the 2000s. Still, it’s a 6% decrease in opposition over the four decades. In contrast, the GSS question asking whether or not respondents agreed that abortion should be legal if the pregnancy was caused by rape shows a quite different trend.  In the 1970s, about 17% wanted to force rape victims to have a baby, and about the same held in the 1980s (at 18%). The desire to make rape victims suffer fell in the 1990s, to only 16% (isn’t that great!)—however in the 2000s it has rebounded. Over 21% of Americans, more than one in five, believes that abortion should be illegal even when a pregnancy is caused by rape. Opposition to legal abortion in the case of rape has actually increased. Wow. And, those fuckers are homeschooling their six kids….