Secular Right | Reality & Reason

TAG | data

Sep/09

20

Teen pregnancy, individual level variation

Someone else has done the GSS data-digging, and it looks like teen pregnancy is correlated with: 1) higher religious fundamentalism, and, 2) lower religious attendance. To see the full data & analysis you’ll need to pay $10. I want to dig a little deeper at the county-level data, though these findings are consistent with a robust trend of lower SES correlating with stronger & more literalist religious beliefs combined with weaker or more sporadic institutional affiliation.

Below in the comments I noted that a “quick & dirty” check of the data yielded an r-squared of 0.14 for the proportion of teen birth rate variance on the state level by the percentage of the state’s population that is black. That is, the black percentage as a variable can explain 14% of the variance of teen birth rate (assuming a linear model). For Non-Hispanic whites the r-squared was 0.18. These are modest values, but I thought readers might be curious as to which states lay above and below the trend line. Below is the scatterplot of teen birth rate vs. % Non-Hispanic white by state. (more…)

Reading around the web I stumbled upon National Journal‘s ubiquitous ratings of how liberal or conservative various politicians are in the domains of social, economic and foreign policy. Using the 2008 data for the House of Representatives, here are the correlations:

Social Liberal & Economic Liberal = 0.78
Social Liberal & Foreign Liberal = 0.70
Economic Liberal & Foreign Liberal = 0.66

The correlations are rather good, but not perfect. For example, assuming a linear model only 60% of the variation in economic liberalism can be predicted by social liberalism (just square the correlations). Some of this is surely the coarseness of measures Natural Journal is using; but I’m not an idealist in any case about politics insofar as there is a most liberal liberal and most conservative conservative archetype. These ideologies are embedded in the real world.

But I was curious about the residuals, that is, deviation from the trends (which are substantial). Specifically, there are the orthogonal tendencies of libertarianism and statism, which though secondary to the standard Left-Right dynamic, do exist.

I will focus on social & economic liberalism in this analysis and discard foreign policy because I don’t want to deal with other combinations right now. Additionally I am not focusing conservatism simply because it looks like it’s just the perfect inverse, so all you need to do is “change the signs.” No need to repeat. First, a scatterplot of Democrats and Republicans, colored blue and red as usual, in 2008. (more…)

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Sep/09

2

Polls of 2012 Republican contenders

Released by Pew. Small sample sizes, and probably irrelevant anyhow….

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Sep/09

1

Role of genes in personality

Inductivist has a post up on the public perception of the role genes play in personality via the “GENEEXPS” variable. Though he saw a trend for Republicans to lean slightly toward more of a role for genes, I was struck by the minimal difference. I decided to look in more detail at this variable in the GSS, and again, was struck by the relative uniformity in attitude. An exception was with sex: women in this sample most definitely seem to believe that genes have more of a role in personality than men do. Also, the old are more gene-friendly than the young.

I put the 95th confidence intervals below because of the small sample sizes in some classes. The question was asked in 2004. The N was somewhat above 2200.
(more…)

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Aug/09

23

Politics & regionalism

repdemconlib

The chart is pretty self-explanatory, but context & methods here. I have two related posts over at ScienceBlogs.

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Aug/09

14

The great polarization

Occasionally we at Secular Right receive emails as to the agenda or manifesto behind this website. Since this is a collective of varied opinions we can not naturally offer a creed or statement of beliefs which is very thick. In any case, one correspondent asked whether we believe that the world should be transformed in an atheist free-market utopia* (or to that effect). Speaking for myself I only responded with a succinct “no.” More to the point the reader, a religious individual of conservative inclinations who supports separation of church & state, wondered at why some contributors to this website critiqued religion, as opposed to making a positive case for church-state separation as part of a conservative order.

One reason why a critique of religion, in concert with self-conscious conservative politics, may be useful is purely a matter of identity politics. The reality is that younger age cohorts in the United States have become progressively more secular and Leftish in inclination. In fact many people of “Gen Y” reject non-Left politics on prima facie grounds of identity; conservatism is fundamentally religious, and therefore they reject conservatism since they reject religion. Some conservatives may work at the project of converting irreligious liberals to religion, and so make them more open to non-Left politics, but I am not sure that this will be enough, or the project of conversion will yield as much as the religious think it will.

In any case, below the fold I have placed a variety of charts from the General Social Survey, which asked individuals their ideological & party affiliations between 1972 and 2008. I’ve broken down religious affiliations controlled for ideology & party.  I limited the sample to whites to remove demographic confounds in the trends.

Note: the question about fundamentalism is measuring variation only among Protestants; Catholics are all coded as “moderate,” Jews & those with no religion as “liberals.”

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I don’t know if there is some context to this Bill O’Reilly assertion that Canadian life expectancy is higher because of fewer people, and so fewer absolute fatalities (e.g., he got turned around on the words?). But it got me wondering, how do Canadian provinces relate to American states in terms of life expectancy at birth? It was easy to find male and female life expectancy online from the US and Canadian Census. Below the fold is a dot chart showing the male life expectancies rank ordered. Additionally, there is table (also sorted by male life expectancy) where I’ve bolded Canadian provinces and American states which border Canada. If readers are interested in demographic correlates of mortality, I recommend Eight Americas: Investigating Mortality Disparities across Races, Counties, and Race-Counties in the United States.
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Jul/09

16

Clarifying contrasts

Jul/09

14

Nations of suicide

The World Values Survey 2005 has a question about whether suicide is every justifiable. Below the fold are the responses for a list of nations. Not to put too fine a point on it: the more open a nation seems to suicide the less likely I feel I’d want to kill myself if I lived in that nation. This follow the paradox that the more unhealthy a nation’s social indices the more religious it is, though within nations the religious tend to be healthier and happier.
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