Razib Khan One-stop-shopping for all of my content

April 29, 2012

Comparing American conservative Protestants & Muslims

Filed under: data,Data Analysis,Public opinion — Razib Khan @ 7:09 pm

A few years ago a book came out, American Taliban: How War, Sex, Sin, and Power Bind Jihadists and the Radical Right. The title clearly was aimed to push copies, but the gist of the title has moderately wide circulation. The rough sketch is that conservative American Protestants are roughly equivalent to conservative Muslims. I have always held that this is a qualitatively misleading analogy. The reason is from all I can gather the socially views of mainstream American conservative Protestants are actually in the moderate range of opinion amongst Muslims. But apples-to-apples comparisons are rather difficult in this domain.

But then I realized that the World Values Survey could allow me to do exactly such comparisons. The method is simple. First, you can subsample the data sets, so I could look at Protestants in the United States who identified as political conservatives. I compared these to the view of Muslims in a selection of nations (the WVS doesn’t cover much of the world, and some questions are not asked in some countries).

The results below range from 1, never justifiable, to 10, always justifiable. There is some strangeness in the results below, but they show the general qualitative result: American ...

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