The Right to Life Among Chilean Youth

Manzi, J.; Silva, J.


Religion is deeply connected to the understanding of life and death and, as a result, the right to life is central to most religions. This chapter addresses the role that religion and religiosity play in the protection of the right to life, as they are compromised in situations related to abortion, euthanasia and the death penalty. This chapter analyses this topic in the context of Chile, a traditionally Roman Catholic country that has been experiencing important changes in religious affiliation (especially an increase of Evangelicals and people who are non-religious). The first section of this study outlines the religious and legal context for the practice of abortion, euthanasia and the death penalty in Chile. Then it presents the conceptual framework for the analysis which includes social identities (religious and political) as well as psycho-social and attitudinal variables. The following empirical study is based on a survey study conducted in a sample of slightly over 1300 secondary school students in Chile. The main results indicate that the three expressions of the limitation of the right to life are only moderately correlated, indicating that rights to life are not highly integrated and consistent in the perception of our participants. Moreover, the three manifestations analyzed presented different relationships with religion and religiosity: abortion is the only case where religious affiliation plays a clear and significant role (with higher support for the rights to life among Catholics and Evangelicals). However, religiosity shows a consistent correlation with rights to life in the three contexts: more religious youngsters show increased opposition to abortion, euthanasia and the death penalty.

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Editorial: Springer International Publishing
Fecha de publicación: 2018
Página de inicio: 65
Página final: 81