…Those Germans

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I have a long post reviewing Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century. Good book. In the process of blogging on the topic I found something kind of funny, but it was too immature to be posted there. I yanked some charts from Gallup Coexist 2009. Basically it shows differences among UK, France and Germany on social issues, as well as differences between Muslims and non-Muslims. In general Muslims are more socially conservative, though the gap is the least in France and the most in the UK. Here are the charts, with the last one the one I found funny:


In general the Germans are more socially conservative than the French, except in that case where Western European nations have achieved consensus. But look the numbers for porn. Perhaps there’s something to the idea that Germany is the land of “dirty porn.“ Also, still something to “No Sex Please, We’re British.”

15 Comments

  1. The data on the most socially conservative and sexually restrained muslims being those settled England should be suggestive on why the country suffers more with movements requiring the implementation of Sharia. The more liberal french muslims should be explained by the fact that France has an older history of receiving immigrants from their former North African colonies and the muslims interviewed would be less likely to be 1st generation immigrants in comparison to Germany and the UK, so it could be the effect of greater cultural assimilation.

  2. please note that over 50% of pakistanis in the UK were born in the UK: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Britishpakistanispob.jpg

    this would overestimate the immigrant portion since those who arrive under the age of 5 are operationally british raised.

  3. Can you find a way to get rid of that annoying facebook add that is covering up Figures 33 and 37? I’m running Firefox on a Mac.

  4. Eastern Germany was far more socially conservative than Western Germany.

    I know that in the USSR, for example, homosexuality was illegal and classified as a mental illness. There was no porn, divorce was rare, TV and movies promoted traditional values, etc., etc. I don’t see why things would have been much different in East Germany.

    The older generation in the eastern Laender was raised in a more conservative way. This could explain some of the differences with France and the UK.

    The most startling thing in those figures, however, is the behavior of the British Muslims. I’m lost on that one.

  5. Adam Corolla used to play a game on the radio show “Love Line” where bizarre news stories involving sexual perversion were read. An example would be a factory employee who got a large washer caught around his penis. He would then make the host, Drew Pinsky, guess if the story originated in Germany or in Florida. (The previous story originated in Germany, of course.)

  6. The older generation in the eastern Laender was raised in a more conservative way. This could explain some of the differences with France and the UK

    it’s more complicated than that. gdr was more more conserv. on homosexuality, but much more liberal on abortion.

  7. re: homosexuality. looked in WVS. there’s only a very small bias to being anti-homosex in the eastern lander. in fact, the outliers are berlin and bavaria, which are very pro and anti homosexual tolerance respectively.

  8. > I know that in the USSR, for example,
    > homosexuality was illegal and classified
    > as a mental illness. There was no porn,
    > divorce was rare, TV and movies promoted
    > traditional values, etc., etc.

    and here’s the reality: divorce was (in the USSR) and is (in Russian Federation) widespread, and socially acceptable. Abortions (official, performed by the goverment run clinics) were and are widespread and socially acceptable.

    Traditional values promoted? Romantic love – this is what was promoted in the movies and government run mass media.

    Yes, homosexuality was illegal – and yes, it was not – and is not even now – socially accepted.

    Pornography was not available, but the government usually looked the other way if it was smuggled (unless you were a dissident, obviously, in which case you better be very modest) or if you were trying to distribute it.

  9. Are there significant differences between UK muslims and French muslims? I mean Moroccans probably are pretty different from Pakistanis. Islam alone likely doesn’t account for all of the difference.

  10. Are there significant differences between UK muslims and French muslims?

    dude, that’s so general as to be a useless question. UK muslims speak english. french muslims speak french. :-)

  11. Sg is right.

    French muslims are mostly of north african origin and probably have a tendency to be more easy going about a lot of things(including religion) than many pakistani, indian etc muslims you might find in the UK. They are from Mediterranean cultures just as much as they are from muslim ones.

  12. …and yeah, Germany loves porn

  13. French muslims are mostly of north african origin and probably have a tendency to be more easy going about a lot of things(including religion) than many pakistani, indian etc muslims you might find in the UK.

    yes. i pointed to that on my other blog. and it’s not the indian muslims. they’re pretty liberal and disproportionately ismaili east africans. it’s pakistani and bangladeshi.

  14. I’ve heard also that Muslims way out East average rather non-’Puritanical’ as well. Like, more apt to have a syncretic admixture of pre-Islamic beliefs.

  15. Well, I actually live in Indonesia, and I can say first-hand that as a muslim-majority country, Indonesia is quite different from most others.

    This region transitioned from animism and Buddhism to Hinduism, and then finally to Islam, but quite peacefully, with trade and proselytization being the main vehicles.. In parts of Java people are Muslim, but have all kinds of notions of spirits and ghosts and magic… a volcano called Merapi is on the verge of erupting right now and it is being looked after by it’s guardian, some local mystic.

    People are pretty chill. They have a distinct Eastern tolerance about them. Social harmony is of absolutely utmost importance.

    However, this is changing because of Saudi money. Radicalism has been growing rapidly in Indonesia and, I believe, other poor muslim countries, mostly because the local governments can’t provide decent free schooling. As an alternative, poor people send their children to free schools, called pesantren here, or madrassah in general.

    Most of these schools are ok, having existed for hundreds of years. But the ones funded by these Saudi charities are virtual terrorist training facilities which teach religious intolerance and the most puritanical Wahhabi form of Islam.

    I think polarization is probably increasing in the muslim world at large, and we’ll definitely see an increase in social conservatism.

    I have my eyes on places like Turkey, which has been a secular-muslim experiment for 80+ years. That’s changing too.

    How do we deal with these issues? What’s the state of research on ways of mitigating religious extremism? I’m inclined to believe that personal wealth would negatively correlate with extremism, and so would level of education.

    I’m sure Razib knows of studies of religosity vs a number of variables.

    I’m personally interested in whether there are large-scale social engineering projects that could reduce this kind of extremism without being heavy-handed or cruel.

    *I assume that most readers of gnxp are probably opposed to religious intolerance and fundamentalism / extremism.

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