Friday, December 04, 2009

Conservatism, Religion & Violence

……”It appears that conservatism has pathological dimensions manifested in violence and distorted psycho-sexual development” (Boshier, 1983, p. 159). This is supported by a study conducted by Walker, Rowe, and Quincey (1993) in which there was a direct correlation between authoritarianism and sexually aggressive behavior. An investigation done by Muehlenhard (1988) revealed that rape justification and aggression toward subordinate individuals was much higher in traditional (conservative personality) than non-traditional personalities.


McClosky (1958) noted that in Western society conservatism tended to be indicative of certain people: social isolates, people thinking poorly of themselves (low self-esteem), those uncertain of their values and who lack a clear sense of direction. That certainly fit the pattern of most of the offenders within the criminal justice system. The above was affirmed by Boshier (1969) when he suggested that those persons who were high in self-esteem were low in conservatism. He further noted that the individual with low self-concept scored high on conservatism. The offender certainly fit the criteria of having a low self-concept and, therefore, being high on the conservative scale. Boshier noted that by scoring high on the C-Scale, the conservative seemed to be demonstrating his hostility toward others, which was also a characteristic demonstrated by most criminal offenders.


Persons who had a dogmatic belief in religions and adhered to the teachings of absolutist and perfectionistic religious groups, tended to be more frequently and more intensely emotionally disturbed than those who followed less dogmatic religion (Ellis, 1986). Authoritarianism and religious fundamentalism were positively correlated, with scores on authoritarianism significantly related to those on ethnic and racial prejudice, hostility toward homosexuals, and punitiveness in prison sentencing (Wylie & Forest, 1992). According to Parker (1990), dogmatism and orthodox belief were incompatible with ethical acuity.

  Change in the Conservative Personality Equals Change in the Offender with a Resultant Reduction in Recidivism by Michael D. Parsons and Jennifer G. Parsons

....but hey, do what you will anyway.


  1. interesting,the conservatives often seem so confident, maybe it's to cover up the low self-esteem.
    I notice also the conservatives are the fundamentalist religious type,in all religions.Christian/Jewish/Muslim.
    I mean the "true believer" types who feel their sect is the only true religion, not the people whose faith in God helps them in their life.

  2. well, i think these studies were involved with mainly the lower economic strata, but unless all those political conservatives who have been busted on some sort of sexual case grew up in a less privileged condition, there may well be similar findings in all castes. i do think that study i quoted tied the conservatism to funadmentalism. and these are all about social conservatism, as opposed to financial conservatism. i haven't seen anything breaking down the findings according to particular sects - other than degree of fundamentalism - but i bet that's been studied, too.


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