Study: 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.

16 Responses to Study: Fundamentalist Christians more inclined toward domestic violence

  1. Anyone surprised by these results? People will do anything if they think they have god on their side.

    • avatar Monique Forrester

      I truly agree. The Bible is the Laudanum for the Fundamentalist. It make them feel strong and powerful and above law.

  2. Just take a look at Iran … a fundamentalist theocracy (islam in this case). How much violence, abuse and violation of human rights do we see there?

  3. avatar Danny the Infidel

    Proverbs 23:13 — “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die.” Proverbs 3:12. For whom the Lord loveth, he chastiseth: and as a father in the son he pleaseth himself. Sirach 30:1 He who loves his son chastises him often, that he may be his joy when he grows up. … Visa mer :2 He who disciplines his son will benefit from him, and boast of him among his intimates. The Epistle to the Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, And scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

  4. avatar Monique Forrester

    If we take a look at God in the Old Testament, it showed us an angry God. God that won't think twice to punish his own "chosen" people if they strayed. He would kill, and destroy the entire nation without a second thought. This God would not think twice of killing children, pregnant woman and her babies. This is the God who order his people to pillage, kill, rape and torture the city that they seized. Since God demanded for human to emulate him, this is what we get today, domestic violence, child abuse, incest and many more.

  5. not surprising at all- religion was invented to control- mainly women and reproduction – so of course it would include this behaviour- I've never yet met a religion that actually likes women and doesn't seek to control them- and I include the so-called 'pagan' religions and Buddhism in that

  6. then you don't know much about "pagan" religions, do you? Most of them are matriarchal, and Buddhism isn't a religion. It's a philosophy.

  7. Nice find, Mike! You just knew this was extremely likely. How likely could it be otherwise?

  8. I doubt this finding surprises anyone. For me it actually reaffirms what I've witnessed all along. So sad really. But then I've always questioned why any woman would volunteer to join or even stay a member of an organization that so obviously hates women as a standard practice. Boggles the mind, really…

  9. Did any of you read the study or did you just accept the blurb? Overall religiousity had no bearing on partner violence… Youre reading things into the study that arent there. Look at the odds ratio on the fundamentalism variable (here's a hint- its VERY close to 1.0)… Then look at the r2 values- the model explains very little of the variation in the equation and other variables in the model are far stronger predictors than the authors definition of fundamentalism. Finally, look at the sampling strategy… Use your heads, not your preconceived notions… The data aren't really telling the story the author says they are.

  10. avatar ThePaganTemple

    Also, what exactly does the study mean by violence. Some people think shouting is violent. Most people think corporal punishment of children is violent, no matter how mildly it is used. I don't think this is talking totally about what most people think of as violence, though it might include it.

  11. I was referring to the comments made above when I referred to general religiousity. As far as the author- again, look at the odds ratios & r2, how the researcher defined "violence", how the researcher defines "fundamentalism…. I do not see how anyone could do that and then agree with the author and researcher's "smoking gun." This is pretty weak research. The models including ALL the variables, even the ones proven insignificant only explain about 12% and 16% respectively of the variation. The variables ethnicity and gender explain far more of the model than the researcher's definition of fundamentalism. This guy got a statistically significant P value and ran to the word processor to type up a load of fluff. If we're going to make decisions with data lets at least hold researchers to a burden of proof beyond that expected of a college freshman. Do you feel comfortable taking the statistical relationships shown in table 2 and coming out with the pronouncements you're reading in these comments? I sure don't.

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  13. thank you, Danger Pants – Buddhism is also a practice… xo

  14. There are different schools of Buddhism, some of which (like Tibetan Buddhism) have deity-worship as a primary focus.

  15. The author says, and I quote, "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. " Isn't that exactly what you're saying he didn't say?

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