Tag Archives: racism

The Religiosity-Racism Link

Admitting that there are “so many, many positive aspects and benefits to religiosity”, the authors of a meta-analysis on the subject have shown a positive correlation between religious affiliation and racism.

Organized religion […], by its very nature, encourages people to accept one fundamental belief system as superior to all others. The required value judgment creates a kind of us-versus-them conflict, in which members of a religious group develop ethnocentric attitudes toward anyone perceived as different. […]

Studies have shown that religious adherents are more likely than agnostics and atheists to rate conservative “life values” as the most important principles underlying their belief systems.

Those specific values — social conformity and respect for tradition — also most closely correlate with racism. In short, people are attracted to organized religion for the same reason some people are inclined toward racist thinking: a belief in the sanctity of established divisions in society.

Of course there are numerous caveats. The most important of which is that the correlation is strongest with religious fundamentalists and is “unclear” with those who are attracted to religion as a spiritual pursuit (as opposed to those who attend church as an obligation).

The researchers also note that the link is particularly strong with highly educated seminary students, that the correlation seems to have been decreasing in recent decades, and that there is no link between “intrinsic religiosity” and racist attitudes (although there is also no link between this “intrinsic religiosity” and racial tolerance).

via Intelligent Life

Online Dating Statistics: Religion and Race

The online dating website OkCupid has a rather fascinating blog, OkTrends, written by two of the four mathematics majors who founded the site.

Still in it’s infancy the blog has a few fascinating posts studying data gleamed from their expansive user base.

Starting out with a brief look at their matching algorithm and the control group used for their studies, here’s data on how different religions ‘match’ on the site. Conclusions, taken verbatim from the post:

  • Jews and Agnostics get along better with people. Jewish men, in particular, have an above average match percentage with every religious group. They even match Muslim women better than Muslim men do.
  • Muslims of both sexes and Hindu men get along worse.
  • Catholics are more universally liked than Protestants.
  • The less serious you are about religion, the better liked you are, even by very religious people.

The analysts also noted how Muslims and Protestants on the site tend to be more intense about their beliefs than other religions, and Jews and Agnostics are by far the least serious.

Another sensitive issue tackled through the magic of online dating statistics is that of race and the reply rates between them. Some more observations:

  • Black women are […] the most likely to reply to your first message. In many cases, their response rate is one and a half times the average, and overall black women reply about a quarter more often.
  • White men get more responses.
  • White women prefer white men to the exclusion of everyone else.
  • Asian and Hispanic women prefer [white men] even more exclusively [than white women].
  • Men don’t write black women back [as] often than they should (statistically speaking, obviously).
  • Black women reply the most, yet get by far the fewest replies. Essentially every race—including other blacks—singles them out for the cold shoulder.
  • Even though white males get the most replies, they respond about 20% less often than non-white males.
  • Between 2 and 7% of males and females of all races believe interracial marriage is a bad idea.
  • Around 20% of males and females of all races, except whites, have a racial background/skin colour preference.
  • 40% of white males and 54% of white females have this preference.

It’s worth noting the following:

Just because a group has low match percentages, even across the board, that does not mean they are bad people. It just means that they’re harder to please. The converse is also true. […] In any event, please keep in mind that each individual has designed his own matching criteria, so the poor-matching groups aren’t failing some outsider’s imposed system. Why, for example, Hindu men would match worst with Hindu women is a mystery.

The Genetic Gap

I can’t write a better leading sentence than David already has: “In an article encouraging us not to use genetic tendencies for racist ends, William Saletan offers a possible genetic answer [to the question, Why are there so many black athletes?]”

One example is the RR variant of ACTN3, a gene that affects fast generation of muscular force and correlates with excellence at speed and power sports. The opposite variant of the gene is called XX. Tests indicate that the ratio of people with RR to people with XX is 1 to 1 among Asians, 2 to 1 among European whites, and more than 4 to 1 among African-Americans.