Attitudes of the Nonreligious toward Abortion, Contraceptives, and Homosexuality: Comparing the Far East and Western Europe

Sevinç K.

JOURNAL OF EMPIRICAL THEOLOGY, vol.33, pp.83-99, 2020 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 33
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1163/15709256-12341400
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, ATLA Religion Database, EBSCO Education Source, Religion and Philosophy Collection
  • Page Numbers: pp.83-99
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


Numerous studies have shown that the number of nonreligious people in the World is increasing and that people without religious affiliation demonstrate more liberal attitudes on controversial issues than affiliated people. Research suggests these differences may arise from the higher education level of the nonreligious and/or cultural context. To further explore the effects of culture on the attitudes of nonreligious, I analyze data from The Global Attitudes Project-Spring (2013). The data were downloaded from the Association of Religion Data Archives, and were collected by Pew Research Center. When the data were analyzed, 6746 of the participants (18.2%) were found to be nonreligious. Three of the countries with the highest rate of nonreligious are from Western Europe (Czechia=69.5%, Britain=44.4%, Germany=35.3%) and three of them are from Far East (China=83.4%, Japan=45.4%, South Korea=42.6%). I compared attitudes of nonreligious from these countries (N=4581) towards abortion, contraception use, and homosexuality. The results indicate that nonreligious people living in the Far East find abortion, contraceptive use, and homosexuality more "morally unacceptable" than Western Europeans. This suggests that attitudes among the nonreligious are not homogenous, and that cultural factors are important variables to consider in future research.