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Social Group and Moral Orientation Factors as Mediators of Religiosity and Multiple Attitude Targets

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Although there is a tradition of examining generalized discrimination against multiple targets, recent studies have tended to consider race and homosexuality as separate targets without considering their relationship with each other. Recent studies have also argued for a moral dimension in attitudes to homosexuality, but this has not yet been explicitly modeled as an explanation for patterns of social attitudes. In a questionnaire study of practicing Australian Christians ( N= 143), we examined the relationship of religious orientation and ideology (intrinsic, extrinsic, fundamentalism, orthodoxy, and quest) with four attitude targets (Aboriginal Australians, women, homosexual persons, and abortion). Using structural equation modeling (SEM), we develop a two-factor model, incorporating group and moral orientation factors, which completely mediates the relationships between the religiosity variables and the social attitudes. Religiosity variables exhibit different patterns of correlation with the two factors. The two-factor model provides a useful framework for further exploration of socially and politically contested attitudes.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5906.2008.00415.x

Affiliations: 1: Kenneth I Mavor is Lecturer in the School of Psychology at the Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200, Australia. 2: Cindy Gallois is Professor and Acting Executive Dean of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences at the University of Queensland, St Lucia QLD 4072, Australia., Email: c.gallois@uq.edu.au

Publication date: September 1, 2008

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