Relationships between Religion and Two Forms of Homonegativity in Europe—A Multilevel Analysis of Effects of Believing, Belonging and Religious Practice

Stefanie Doebler

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    16 Citations (Scopus)
    300 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    This paper examines relationships between religion and two forms of homonegativity
    across 43 European countries using a bivariate response binary logistic multilevel model. The model analyzes effects of religious believing, belonging and practice on two response variables: a) a moral rejection of homosexuality as a practice and b) intolerance toward homosexuals as a group. The findings indicate that both forms of homonegativity are prevalent in Europe. Traditional doctrinal religious believing (belief in a personal God) is positively related to a moral rejection of homosexuality but to a much lesser extent associated with intolerance toward homosexuals as a group. Members of religious denominations are more likely than non-members to reject homosexuality as morally wrong and to reject homosexuals as neighbors. The analysis found significant differences between denominations that are likely context-dependent. Attendance at religious services is positively related to homonegativity in a majority of countries. The findings vary considerably across countries: Religion is more strongly related to homonegativity in Western than in Eastern Europe. In the post-soviet countries homonegativity appears to be largely a secular phenomenon. National contexts of high religiosity, high perceived government corruption, high income inequality and shortcomings in the implementation of gay rights in the countries’ legislations are statistically related to higher levels of both moralistic homonegativity and intolerance toward homosexuals as a group.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere0133538
    Pages (from-to)1-27
    Number of pages27
    JournalPLoS ONE
    Volume10
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 06 Aug 2015

    Keywords

    • homophobia
    • Europe
    • intolerance
    • religion
    • multilevel
    • post-communism

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