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December 2021

Rate the sin/love the sinner, or love the hater? Intrinsic religion and responses to partner abuse

Author(s): Jackson, L. M.

Journal/Book: J Sci Stud Relig. 1999; 38: Brigham Young Univ 875 Swkt, Sociology Dept, Provo, UT 84602, USA. Soc Scientific Study Religion. 160-174.

Abstract: Traditional religion is often assumed to contribute to partner abuse, although empirical tests of this assumption have been hampered by coarse measurement of religion, socially desirable responding, and neglect of contextual moderators, such as whether an abuse victim's behavior upholds or violates religious values. In an attempt to address these issues, we asked 90 undergraduates to complete measures of religious orientation, then read about a woman who was abused by her boyfriend after she refused his marriage proposal because she wished not to marry outside her faith (value-affirming), was not sure that she loved him (value-neutral), or thought that she might be a lesbian (value-violating), Intrinsic religious orientation predicted liking for the victim and justification of her behavior when she upheld religious values, whereas it predicted liking for the abuser and sympathetic attributions for his behavior when the victim violated religious values. Thus, whether religion discourages or encourages tolerance for abuse may depend on who is being abused.

Note: Article Burris CT, St Jeromes Unit, Dept Psychol, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G3, CANADA

Keyword(s): SOCIAL DESIRABILITY; RACIAL PREJUDICE; ORIENTATION; ATTITUDES; WOMEN; QUEST; FUNDAMENTALISM; VIOLENCE


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