Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Does Religious Involvement reduce Domestic Violence?

The authors explored the relationship between religious involvement and intimate partner violence by analyzing data from the first wave of the National Survey of Families and Households. They found that: (a) religious involvement is correlated with reduced levels of domestic violence; (b) levels of domestic violence vary by race/ethnicity; (c) the effects of religious involvement on domestic violence vary by race/ethnicity; and (d) religious involvement, specifically church attendance, protects against domestic violence, and this protective effect is stronger for African American men and women and for Hispanic men, groups that, for a variety of reasons, experience elevated risk for this type of violence.


On this issue, Conservapedia's claim is backed up by research. 

19 comments:

DJC said...

Given that the main risk factors for male perpetrators of domestic violence are alcohol use, low income, low academic attainment, unemployment, young age and witnessing violence as a child, it seems likely that involvement with a church group could help in all those areas. But I can't really tell what bearing this has on atheism.

Victor Reppert said...

Do atheists, on the whole, provide the kind of support that a church might.

im-skeptical said...

Since there is not an atheist organization like a church, there is no support structure like that provided by churches. Although, there are various atheist or secular organizations, they generally do not serve the same kind of social roles that churches do.

DJC said...

Victor,

"Do atheists, on the whole, provide the kind of support that a church might."

Yes, but in the form of strong support for the secular infrastructure of society: education, welfare, health care, etc. It used to be churches that provided all social services but that role has gradually shifted to government. So-called liberal priorities have, effectively, undermined the role of the church. But it hasn't been an obvious bad choice: domestic violence seems to be declining, for example, along with all forms of violence.

B. Prokop said...

"Since there is not an atheist organization like a church"

Well, there sort of is... They call themselves Unitarians. :)

grodrigues said...
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grodrigues said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
grodrigues said...

@B. Prokop:

Your joke is actually funny, but while we can count on the massive historical ignorance of im-skeptical, I do not need to remind you of the historical attempts to organize atheistic churches. Or point you to here (*first* google hit on "atheist church").

edit: forgot to add that while I do not know if the linked site is a spoof, it is easy to find other real examples or attempts-at or proposals-for.

second edit: grrrr. Hopefully the link works now.

Papalinton said...

It's a spoof. I'm a member. My daughter signed me up. I even have a certificate.
I'm an ordained minister. Yaayyyyyyyyy!

:o)

Dave Duffy said...

"Well, there sort of is... They call themselves Unitarians. :)"

Now that's funny! Guys like me enjoy a good one-liner. Thanks Bob.

B. Prokop said...

Dave,

It's only half a joke. About 4 years ago, out of curiosity and because a person close to me was part of the congregation, I attended a couple of Unitarian services. While I was impressed by their friendliness and camaraderie, I was amused by a service that consisted largely of bad pop music, readings from Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass (one of my favorite books, by the way), and not one single mention of God, Christ, or anything even remotely "religious".

That said, I owe them a debt I can never repay, thanks to the book Love and Death by Unitarian minister Forrest Church, which was an incalculable help to me after the death of my wife to cancer in 2008.

im-skeptical said...

Bob,

The very meaning of the word 'Unitarian' is that God is one person, not three, as is claimed by the doctrine of your church. Although Unitarians tend to be liberal, this hardly qualifies as atheism.

B. Prokop said...

I know, Skep. That's why it's a joke. But in practice, Unitarianism is a very minimalist religion. Heck, even Garrison Keillor on his radio show has ridiculed them on numerous occasions for their lack of religiosity. I recall one segment where he (kiddingly) referred to their preaching about the "Ten Suggestions".

im-skeptical said...

Not everybody likes to live under the oppressive thumb of a rich and powerful church.

B. Prokop said...

"rich ... church"

Hmm.. At least in Oklahoma (the only data I could find after a quick internet search) the per capita income of Unitarians is higher than for any other denomination.

im-skeptical said...

" At least in Oklahoma (the only data I could find after a quick internet search) the per capita income of Unitarians is higher than for any other denomination."

That could be because they're more intelligent. But i wasn't talking about the congregation. I was talking about the church.

Dave Duffy said...

Bob,

I've had a similar experience with the Unitarians. That's why the joke is funny. Jokes are best when you've had a some positive experience with what is being made fun of. It keeps the humor from becoming bitter sarcasm.

I'm also a fan of Whitman.

Sorry about your wife. I honestly don't know what it would be like to lose Mrs. Duffy.

B. Prokop said...

"That could be because they're more intelligent."

There has never been any evidence of a link between wealth and intelligence - it's 99% what family were you born into. (Or was that a dig at us poor, benighted Trinitarians. We've just got to be stupid, right?)

Aragorn said...

Among the many facts listed on the article you shared regarding Atheist Hypocrisy, this is probably the only one that is not blatantly stupid.

However, it still doesn't support the contention that atheists are hypocrites. And as DJC has pointed out, it seems only tangentially related to atheism.

To be fair, there are some religions that do moderate domestic violence by providing the kind of support structure that is not so readily available in the atheist community. And I have no answer to that other than saying that atheists should consider looking to emulate this somehow.