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Ambiguity, Religion, and Relational Context: Competing Influences on Moral Attitudes?

The position that people take on moral issues, such as infidelity, can be influenced by abstract principles (e.g., religious ideals) but also by their own relational experience. Conservative religious orientation provides clear moral prescripts about sexual behavior, but what happens when there is p... Full description

Journal Title: Sociological Perspectives March 2011, Vol.54(1), pp.59-81
Main Author: Schafer, Markus H
Format: Electronic Article Electronic Article
Language: English
Subjects:
ID: ISSN: 0731-1214 ; E-ISSN: 1533-8673 ; DOI: 10.1525/sop.2011.54.1.59
Link: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1525/sop.2011.54.1.59
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recordid: sage_s10_1525_sop_2011_54_1_59
title: Ambiguity, Religion, and Relational Context: Competing Influences on Moral Attitudes?
format: Article
creator:
  • Schafer, Markus H
subjects:
  • Religion
  • Infidelity
  • Relational Context
  • Morality
  • Moral Attitudes
  • Old Age
  • Dementia
  • Sexuality
  • Sociology & Social History
ispartof: Sociological Perspectives, March 2011, Vol.54(1), pp.59-81
description: The position that people take on moral issues, such as infidelity, can be influenced by abstract principles (e.g., religious ideals) but also by their own relational experience. Conservative religious orientation provides clear moral prescripts about sexual behavior, but what happens when there is perceived strain within one's actual, non-hypothetical relationship? The author tests a series of hypotheses about attitudes towards infidelity using a representative sample of American adults aged 57–85. The results indicate that although most older Americans oppose infidelity in general, distinct differences emerge when the infidelity scenario involves greater moral ambiguity. When dementia is involved, the relational context in which the respondent is embedded emerges as an important predictor variable. Interestingly, each religious group— even born-again Protestants—are susceptible to this moral contingency effect. Results are discussed in relation to Vaisey's (2009) dual-process theory, in which attitudes are shaped by rational and relational factors alike.
language: eng
source:
identifier: ISSN: 0731-1214 ; E-ISSN: 1533-8673 ; DOI: 10.1525/sop.2011.54.1.59
fulltext: fulltext
issn:
  • 0731-1214
  • 07311214
  • 1533-8673
  • 15338673
url: Link


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subjectReligion ; Infidelity ; Relational Context ; Morality ; Moral Attitudes ; Old Age ; Dementia ; Sexuality ; Sociology & Social History
descriptionThe position that people take on moral issues, such as infidelity, can be influenced by abstract principles (e.g., religious ideals) but also by their own relational experience. Conservative religious orientation provides clear moral prescripts about sexual behavior, but what happens when there is perceived strain within one's actual, non-hypothetical relationship? The author tests a series of hypotheses about attitudes towards infidelity using a representative sample of American adults aged 57–85. The results indicate that although most older Americans oppose infidelity in general, distinct differences emerge when the infidelity scenario involves greater moral ambiguity. When dementia is involved, the relational context in which the respondent is embedded emerges as an important predictor variable. Interestingly, each religious group— even born-again Protestants—are susceptible to this moral contingency effect. Results are discussed in relation to Vaisey's (2009) dual-process theory, in which attitudes are shaped by rational and relational factors alike.
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The position that people take on moral issues, such as infidelity, can be influenced by abstract principles (e.g., religious ideals) but also by their own relational experience. Conservative religious orientation provides clear moral prescripts about sexual behavior, but what happens when there is perceived strain within one's actual, non-hypothetical relationship? The author tests a series of hypotheses about attitudes towards infidelity using a representative sample of American adults aged 57–85. The results indicate that although most older Americans oppose infidelity in general, distinct differences emerge when the infidelity scenario involves greater moral ambiguity. When dementia is involved, the relational context in which the respondent is embedded emerges as an important predictor variable. Interestingly, each religious group— even born-again Protestants—are susceptible to this moral contingency effect. Results are discussed in relation to Vaisey's (2009) dual-process theory, in which attitudes are shaped by rational and relational factors alike.

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