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

October 4, 2010

Most people are cool with gays teaching kids (today)

Filed under: Attitudes,Data Analysis,GSS,homosexuality,Jim DeMint,Social Liberalism — Razib Khan @ 4:22 pm

I noticed that Jim DeMint has said some controversial things about the demographic criteria of teachers:

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) says that even though “no one” came to his defense in 2004 after he said that gay people and unwed mothers should be banned from teaching, “everyone” quietly told him that he shouldn’t back down from his position.

The Spartanberg Herald-Journal described the comments this way: “DeMint said if someone is openly homosexual, they shouldn’t be teaching in the classroom and he holds the same position on an unmarried woman who’s sleeping with her boyfriend — she shouldn’t be in the classroom.” DeMint did not apparently state his position on whether sexually active unmarried male teachers should be similarly removed from classrooms.

My interest was piqued because there are questions in the GSS about allowing gays to teach. We can see how many people in the country agree with DeMint. How the proportion has changed over the years, and also the demographic correlates of variation in attitudes. Additionally, I wanted to compare attitudes to allowing homosexuals to teach with allowing anti-religionists and racists to teach. First, over time:


It’s immediately obvious that the gay rights movement has fostered more tolerance for homosexuality. The anti-religious, less so. And racists really haven’t become anymore popular over the years. Let’s break it down by various demographics. But first, note that I am going to constrain the time of survey to 2002 and later, when views seem to have stabilized:


The raw values are below. But observe that the majority of conservatives and those who believe that the Bible is the Word of God would accede to a homosexual teaching in school. Times a changin’….

Allow to teach….
Demographic Racist Anti-religionist Homosexual
Male 52 64 78
Female 45 62 81
White 51 65 81
Black 41 53 75
Liberal 54 73 87
Moderate 48 62 82
Conservative 45 56 74
Protestant 45 57 74
Catholic 51 62 84
No Religion 54 81 90
High School 46 60 79
Bachelor 57 77 92
Graduate 58 83 94
Bible is Word of God 41 47 66
Bible is Inspired Word 50 67 85
Bible is Book of Fables 59 80 91

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