The Sciences

Are Hispanics that socially conservative?

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanMay 24, 2012 3:35 PM


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I often hear in the media that Hispanics are "socially conservative." For that sort of thing you do need "quick & dirty" rules-of-thumb, and the assertion seems broadly plausible. On the other hand, the Hispanic attitude toward gay marriage isn't really that different from non-Hispanic white (see GSS MARHOMO variable). So I decided to query non-Hispanic white and Hispanic attitudes to a range of "hot-button" social issues in the GSS. I also broke it down by college vs. non-college educated cohorts. All results are from the year 2000 and later.

These results can be used to support the proposition that Hispanics are socially conservative. But they are not of the magnitude or direction of difference that one finds when comparing evangelical white Protestants to other whites, or even blacks to whites. So though technically defensible, I think the assertion that Hispanics are socially conservative in their attitudes misleads the public somewhat. (unless the divorce results are mis-coded, they do seem correct)

White non-HispanicHispanic

No collegeCollegeNo collegeCollege

Abortion on demand, yes38532847

Abortion if serious defect, yes75706779

Make divorce easier23164428

Keep divorce laws same23341740

Make divorce more difficult55503832

Premarital sex always wrong26192116

Premarital sex almost always wrong88107

Premarital sex sometimes wrong18232013

Premarital sex not wrong at all47504964

Homosexual sex always wrong58356133

Homosexual sex almost always wrong4554

Homosexual sex sometimes wrong61179

Homosexual sex not wrong at all32482755

Porn should be illegal to all40303625

Porn should be illegal to under 1857676070

Porn should be legal to all3344

Strongly favor spanking children28172519

Favor spanking children47444443

Do not favor spanking children19282220

Strongly do not favor spanking children611917

Allow incurable patients to die72725876

Strongly agree better for man to work, woman to tend home105149

Agree better for man to work, woman to tend home31193216

Disagree better for man to work, woman to tend home43494348

Strongly disagree better for man to work, woman to tend home16281127

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