Survey: Modesty

I’ve created another survey!  This time, I am interested in examining how modesty has an impact on single or unmarried men, predominately Christian men.  All answers are kept completely anonymous, I promise!  I do ask, though, as there is space to explain each answer, that you do so.  I’d like this post to be a collection of responses, not just statistics. If this interests you, please follow this link: Modesty.

Thank you all very much!!

P.S. If possible, could you pass this on to your friends? That would be great too!Survey

 

Religion and Politics: Survey Results

*I want to dedicate this post to every single person who completed my survey.  Your responses helped me test my hypotheses, and understand the relationship between religion and politics.  I am forever grateful to every single one of you.  Thank you.*

I started this study with the aim to analyze the connection between religious beliefs and political beliefs.  I was interested to see if the strength of one set of beliefs influenced the strength of the other.  This was my main hypothesis.  However, as I began compiling my survey, I became curious of other variables, and their effects.  Did age play a role?  What about gender?  If someone isn’t religious, does that impact which political party they most agree with?  Does different religious beliefs affect politics?  Does religious beliefs influence more conservative or more liberal beliefs?  And finally, does the amount of time one set of beliefs was held, impact the other?

I believed these variables would be statistically significant (important, statistically unique, different than normal).  I thought the stronger someone believed one set of beliefs, the stronger the other set of beliefs would be.  For example, I thought that if a Christian held very strong beliefs, they would also be a very strong, conservative Republican.  (This was based on prior observations and patterns.).  I thought age and gender played a role in each set of beliefs, but I was unsure to that role.  I thought the type of religious belief, be it religious or non-religious, would have an impact, but I was unsure what that was.  And I thought people that had beliefs from their family for one belief, would hold the other for the same reason.

Several prior studies influenced my knowledge prior to analyzing the results.  For example, a study conducted by Driskell, Embry, and Lyon (2008) suggested that religious beliefs about an involved God and many world issues are significantly related to political participation on a national scale (Driskell, Embry & Lyon).  Another study conducted by Evans (2014) concluded that religious people tend to disagree in terms of political policies, but they have the tendency to agree with the process of reaching those policies (Evans).  Friesen and Ksiazkiewicz (2015) concluded that society functions the best when people follow traditional values, and also was able to conclude that individuals tend to interpret religion as an important guide for one’s life (Friesen and Ksiazkiewicz).  Fitzgerald and Wickwire (2012) were able to conclude that people of specific religious and political groups tend to favor, or express more trust towards others of the same groups (Fitzgerald and Wickwire).  Finally, Meyer, Tope, and Price (2008) concluded that nations of people who tend to be strongly religious are less favorable towards democracy (Meyer, Top & Price).

A total of 193 people responded to my survey.  However, of the responses, 20 responses were discarded.  These responses did not meet all the criteria, such as being 18 or older, or not providing all information.  (All the surveys were completed.  However, 18 of the 20 responses chose not to specify their religious affiliation.  This was an optional spot, but was a factor I was interested in examining.). I chose 18 as the minimal age, because in America, that is the age when teenagers are allowed to vote.  The vast majority of participants were female and between the ages of 18-30.

Of the participants who identified as religious, the vast majority specified their beliefs as “Christian” (non-denominational/ denominational).  However, I also received responses such as “Catholic”, “Spiritual”, “Norse”, “Methodist”, “Mennonite”, “Christo-pagan”, “Baptist”, “Lutheran”, “Jewish”, “Former Mormon”, and even “Catholic with Celtic beliefs”.  Of those that identified as non-religious, the most common responses were “Agnostic” and “Atheist”.

Politically, I asked participants which political party they most aligned with, and then asked them to place themselves on a conservative/liberal scale.  I was interested to see if religious beliefs affected that ranking.

When gathering the responses, I was really focused on not getting a biased sample, such as too many millennials, or too many Christians, or too many Republicans, etc.  (Given where I live, those would have been the most likely biases.). So, I placed my survey on my Facebook page, and thus it was shared by many of my friends.  I also linked it in several of my blog posts.  Finally, I asked one of my previous professors to pass it out to his students.  The responses were kept completely anonymous, apart from asking for age and gender.

I was expecting my sample to slightly biased, with more Republican Christians.  However, I was surprised to find that the split between Republican and Democrat beliefs to be rather equal.

When I had finished analyzing my results, I was disappointed to find my hypotheses were generally not statistically significant. *I’ll apologize here: I seem to have deleted the file with all my graphs and whatnot.  So, unfortunately, I am unable to share with you any of the visual data.*. The strength between religious beliefs and political beliefs was not statistically significant. (For those of you interested, r=-.087.). This was fascinating to me, as I could see participants of similar religious beliefs rating the strength of that belief very high, but then ranking their political beliefs differently and opposite ends of the spectrum.  Also, I saw many responses where on set of beliefs was ranked high, and the other was ranked low.

The effects between “religious and political beliefs” and “gender” were not statistically significant, and neither was the interaction between them.  This was interesting, because based on previous patterns and observations, I expected females to be more religious, but also slightly more liberal.

When I analyzed the interaction between “religious beliefs”, “political beliefs”, and “age”, the interaction was not statistically significant.  However, when I analyzed the main effect of “religious beliefs” on “age”, this was statistically significant.  (For those interested, F (4, 170)= 2.76, p = .03, and h2 = 0.024.).

Finally, I analyzed the relationship between “religious beliefs” and “political beliefs”.  This correlation was mildly statistically significant (r = .19 at p = .013).  This was interesting, because it demonstrated there is indeed a relationship between “religious beliefs” and “political beliefs”.

*Unfortunately, I did not quite get the chance to analyze all the varied variables I wanted to, such as the different types of beliefs against political beliefs, or how long those beliefs were held against the strength of the beliefs.  If I have the chance to re-do this study, I would fine tune the variables I want to explore.  I made the mistake of adding more and more “variables” as my study went on.  I didn’t start with a strict set of things to investigate, and I think that is why so many of potentially interesting insights were ignored.  I ran out of time, and to a degree, resources, thus negatively effecting the validity of my results.*

I think, overall, this study brings some really interesting things to light.  For example, I began to understand that the interpretation of religious texts is often more impactful than just the religious beliefs.  There were participants who were nearly identical in religious beliefs and in their belief strength (sometimes even in age and gender), but completely opposite in terms of political beliefs and conservative/liberal ranking.  (I may even be so bold as to say that it is this split in interpretation that is leading to the split in Christians today …… corresponding blog post to come …..)

Also, it is also possible that race, economic status, and living environment (rural, city, urban, etc.) further impact the relationship between religious and political beliefs.

———————

I had quite a lot of fun organizing this study, analyzing the results, and understanding real life applications.  It has opened the door to many other questions I would like to pursue, and may at some point.

I’d love to know your thoughts about these results.  Do you think there is a bigger connection between religious beliefs and political beliefs?  Or do you think it’s smaller?


 

religion-in-politics

Ciao for now,

Julia

P.S. I am interested in do a post on modesty, but from guys’ perspectives.  If you are a single, or yet unmarried Christian guy, I’d be honored if you’d fill out this short questionnaire.  Please pass it around to your friends! I will be giving credit where credit is due! Thank you!

Passengers, I condemn you.

Before I say what I believe needs to be said, I want you to know that this is coming from a place of truthful compassion and understanding, with self-reflective sadness, and not a place of aggression or judgment.

But.

Passengers of the United Airlines Flight that were witnesses to the horrific removal of Dr. Dao from his seat: I condemn you.  I condemn you just as much as the airline itself is being condemned.  I condemn you, because instead of standing up for, and fighting for Dr. Dao, you simply stayed in your seats, recorded the scene, and made comments.  I condemn you because you could have done so much more.  I condemn you because you were bystanders who had the power to save, and you chose not to.

In all the articles I have read about this situation, from Dr. Dao’s troubled past, to the incident, and even the aftermath, no where are any names of any saviors mentioned.  There are names of those who uploaded the videos.  There are names of those who made comments.  There are the three names of the other passengers forced to relinquish their seats.  But no where are there written names, or provided evidence, of any person on that flight, trying to save Dr. Dao.  And if there is no evidence, then I believe it is not a far stretch to assume there was no saving.  And if that is the case, then truly, passengers, you are to be condemned.

In school, we are taught that there are bullies, victims, and bystanders.  And we are taught that the bystanders are just as bad as the bully if they do not try to stop the abuse.  In this situation, it seems the bystanders, the passengers, were just as bad as the bullies.  In fact, I would even wager that they are worse than the bully, because they recorded it.  They pulled out their phones, and recorded this man’s suffering, without trying to save him.  And if, passengers, your excuse is that you were told to remain in your seats by the airline staff, than I would say this situation is a textbook example of Stanley Milgram’s shock experiment.

Please understand me, I believe you when you say you are good people.  I believe you.  Many of you may go to church, are parents, help the community, etc.  But this “good” should be evident in all situations, not just in “good” ones.  If you are truly good, staying in your seat must have upset your conscious.  Of course, if I was in that situation, staying in my seat would have really upset me.  But, I would have found it very hard to stand up as well.  Passengers, true soul-deep “goodness” would inspire a person to leap out of their seat, and fight with a flaming sword to protect a man being abused.

I condemn United Airlines for overbooking the flight.  (I know firsthand the effects of that.). I condemn them for giving priority to employees of a partner line.  I condemn them for picking people at random, and forcing them to give up their seats.  I condemn them for then forcibly removing Dr. Dao from his seat.  And I condemn you, passengers of this United Airlines flight, because you did nothing,

What happened to respect?  What happened to caring for every life?  What happened to the responsibility of taking care of other people, especially in a situation where they can’t take care of themselves?  What happened to standing up for other people, and addressing abuse in a horrible situation?  What happened to the responsibility of a bystander to stand up for the victim?  Has this responsibility truly changed to spectatorship, when the accepted behavior is to record a situation, instead of trying to fix it?  And would Dr. Dao be in the hospital if someone had stood up for him?  What would have happened if the entire plane stood up for him?  This situation feels eerily similar to Kitty Genovese.

It seems this responsibility of bystanders has become completely ignored.  People who were witness to a horrible interaction between people, are asked for any videos, instead of being asked if they did anything to stop it.  As a psychology major, a young woman, and a gentle heart, this change terrifies, upsets, and disgusts me.

If I was in a similar situation, yes, I would find it very hard to stand between a bully and their victim.  I would feel as if I was standing before a giant with only a small stone in my hand.  I would wrestle hard inside myself to find the courage and strength to get out of my seat, and stand between the United Airlines men and Dr. Dao.  But, I would be utterly disgusted with myself if I choose to record the situation instead.  I would know that no amount of recording could save a man’s life.

Passengers, I condemn you.  I am pointing an accusatory finger at you.  You could have done so much, but instead, did so little.  However, while pointing at you, four fingers are pointing back at me.  Your lack of action has made me self-reflect, which I thank you for.  Let’s see that as the silver lining; this horrible situation is causing self-reflection.

Passengers, I condemn you just as much as Untied Airlines.  Every life deserves a savior, and you, you who watched and recorded and complained, you did nothing.

The Irony of Porn Hub

I do not tolerate porn in any way, shape, or form.  It is disgusting, and in no way a good thing.  Period.  I don’t care who you are.  If I hear you say that you enjoy watching porn, I lose all respect for you.

About two weeks ago, Porn Hub made a rather ironic announcement.  This website is starting to make videos that cater to the blind.  Whatever you think that means, you are probably right.  In trying to cater to everyone, Porn Hub says they care.537686449_1280x720

I’m sorry, what?

The irony is outstanding.

This is so ironic, given the dirty secrets of the sex industry, something no one wants to talk about.

 

For example:

  • There are 27 million people currently enslaved around the world (End It)
  • 80% of trafficking involves sexual exploitation (Facts-Random History)[a]
  • California has three of the FBI’s highest sex trafficking areas in the country: San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles (Do Something)
  • Sex trafficking plays a major role in the spread of HIV (Facts-Random History)[a]
  • Roughly 30,000 sex trafficking victims die every year due to abuse, disease, torture, and neglect (Facts-Random History)[a]
  • More than 30% of all cases in 2007-2008 involved children who had been sold into the sex industry (Facts-Random History) [a]
  • Some sex traffickers recruit handicapped young girls, such as those with Down Syndrome (Facts- Random History)[a]
  • Child pornography makes roughly $3 billion annually (Facts-Random History)[b]

Already, those are doozies. I’m starting to feel rather sick to my stomach ….. But let’s keep going, shall we?

  • 88% of pornographic films contain physical violence towards women, and 49% exhibit verbal aggression (Fight the New Drug)[a]
  • Those that view violent porn are more likely to become violent themselves (Fight the New Drug)[a]
  • Women in violent porn films are required to appear as if they enjoy the violence, thus making those actions seem acceptable in ‘real life’ (Fight the New Drug)[a]
  • Porn searches involving teen were in the top 5 in 2015, in the US and around the world (Porn Hub)
  • The largest age bracket for porn viewers in 2015 was 18-34 years old (Porn Hub)
  • Excessive porn usage affects sexual relationships with real people (Philip Zimbardo and Fight the New Drug [b])
  • The brain becomes rewired to receive sexual pleasure, and if porn is unavailable, anything else will do (Philip Zimbardo)
  • Enough porn was watched in 2015 to fill the entire memory space on all iPhones sold that same year (Porn Hub)

Now, for those of you that are unaware, sex trafficking involves prostitution, pimps, porn, and salons, just to name a few.  Those that are sex slaves are typically under threats.  A typical threat may be against the person’s family, or even their own life (It Happened to Me).  If the victim is caught, but not the perpetrator, the victim is treated like a criminal
(Huffington Post).

Regardless of how you feel about Buzzfeed, they recently released a video following three people through a month without porn.  I find the results very interesting, in regards of how porn can affect sexual desires.

Also, there is another video on YouTube of a former porn star discussing the things she did.  The video is rather disgusting and vulgar, but proves just how dirty the sex industry truly is.

Because of the constant demand for porn (and other instant sexual gratification), slavery has become the second largest organized crime.  It generates roughly $150.2 million, which is more than Amazon, Google, and eBay combined (End It).  This then begs the question: Why is something this lucrative at the expense of someone’s wellbeing?

I don’t know about you, but people are still people.  They should not be forced to do anything that they don’t want to, especially sexually.  By approving porn, and logging on to Porn Hub and other porn sites, the sex industry grows larger and darker.

(Note: I am aware that there are those that willingly ‘act’ in porn films, or operate as a working girl -i.e. prostitutes, strippers, call girls, etc.. I am not condoning those ‘jobs’, rather my heart breaks for those that choose that life.  However, willing participating in that life opens up the possibility of worse things happening.)

Please.  Learn the facts.  Don’t place your desire for sexual pleasure over the life of someone else.  Don’t watch porn.  Don’t give those with evil intent the power.

I’m sorry, Porn Hub.  If you truly cared about people, you would not celebrate porn, nor offer it to the masses.  The hypocrisy and irony is amazing.

Julia

Observations on Food Stamps

580_6_access_card_frontAs a budding psychologist, I’m interested in the world.  I want to understand the how’s, what’s and why’s of people and their minds.  I’m constantly thinking of studies I would love to conduct, and surveys topics I want to explore.

Last week, I finished an observation.  I’m a cashier/ self-checkout attendant at a grocery store, and I see a lot of different people of all walks of life.  It was at work that I experienced a family using an EBT card for the first time.

A while ago, I somehow immersed a statistic stating that 40% of all EBT users were white.  I can’t cite this source because I don’t know where I saw it, when I saw it, or why I saw it.  But somehow that statistic was planted in my mind.

That really interested me, and I wondered if it was actually true.  I figured it would be fun to observe EBT users at my work, to see if the statistic would hold up.

*Note: I am only a sophomore in college.  This was my first ever try at a study, or observation.  The process was very rudimentary, and is littered with errors.  I do not claim the results are valid.  Instead, I simply look at the findings as a chance for further study.*

In order to gather as much information as possible, I figured 300 hours would be an appropriate amount of time.  I started observing March 2nd, 2016 and finished June 7th, 2016.  I observed a total of 378 people, 250 of which were ‘white’ (as defined by observable characteristics, such as skin color, accent, etc.).  This produced a result of 66.14% of EBT users that were white.  I would like to add that I had no way of making note of returning EBT customers.  Because of this, I simply observed the customers day to day.  I know this inflates my results greatly.

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My notes

As seen in my notes, I also observed the food that was bought. If a food item was present more than once in a particular order, it was marked down.  For example, if there was only one fruit item in an order, I wouldn’t mark ‘fruit’ down.  Now, this was dependent on the size of the order.  If the order had only a couple of items, all the items were recorded.  However, if there was a large order, I marked those items that were repeated, or was a prevalent category (such a meat or fruit).  After I had summerized each order, I then further summerized each day of notes in an Excel spreadsheet.

I am predominately the self-checkout attendant.  Through this observation, I noticed that more EBT users go through self-checkout, regardless of the size of the order.  That is not to say that I didn’t have big EBT orders when I wasn’t on register; it was just wasn’t nearly as often.

During this study, I noticed some interesting patterns:

1. A lot of EBT users appeared to be unmarried with children.  Also, EBT and WIC tended to go hand in hand.

2.  A lot of elderly couples used EBT.

3.  A lot of customers who use EBT also had nice clothes, good phones, and a clean appearance.  Only once or twice did I see a customer use EBT who appeared to be truly living in poverty (for example: dirty, unbrushed hair; dirty clothes; children without shoes; etc.)

4.  The statement that ‘Food stamp users only buy junk’ is somewhat true. I categorized junk as ‘cookies, soda, ice cream, candy, pre-made unhealthy meals, etc.’.  These items were bought quite frequently, but meat and large cases of water were bought nearly as often.

5.  Organic food was very rarely bought with EBT.

I do not look at this study, or the results as a definitive study.  I know the process and results are flawed.  But now I have a better understadning of how to conduct an obserevation, and the world in which I live.  In trying my hand at an observation, my mind was opened to a group of people I knew little about.  And frankly, I am more excited about that than the fact I completed an observation.

I hope this gave you something to think about, and maybe prompt independent research into Food Stamps.  I think there is a lot still to be done and observed and understood about the people using Food Stamps, and the people who actually need the help.

Ciao for now,

Julia