Date of Award
This study seeks to assess the impact of age and strength of religious affiliation on Americans’ opinions on the environment, abortion, homosexuality, and the government in general. Other factors such as income, gender, and education level were also considered because these could have an impact on one’s view of certain issues. The interaction of both age and religious affiliation is considered as well to control for individuals of various ages and religiosity levels. This study also aims to find a relationship between age and those four issues listed above as well as education level and religious affiliation. Singling out those variables allows the study to lay a foundation for its more complex hypotheses. The results indicate that while age and religious affiliation were not significant factors in one’s viewpoint as strongly as expected, both were significant when determining a participant’s view on the environment. Not surprisingly, religious affiliation was a significant factor in determining one’s opinion of homosexuality; as strength of religious affiliation increases, a participant is more likely to think homosexuality is wrong sometimes or always wrong. Education level produced significant results for determining opinions on homosexuality as well as abortion. As education level increases, a participant is more likely to think that homosexuality is ok and that a woman having an abortion for any reason is acceptable. Lastly, this study has found that while one’s age increases, he or she is slightly more likely to think homosexuality is wrong. Curiously, while it is commonly thought that young Americans hold more liberal views on many issues, it was discovered here that there is virtually no difference in the opinions of old and young Americans on abortion.
Willmott, Tracey, "THROUGHOUT THE GENERATIONS: HOW AGE AND RELIGIOSITY MAY BE CHANGING OUR VIEWS ON KEY SOCIAL ISSUES" (2014). Senior Honors Projects. 23.