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Attitude Strength and Social Action in the Abortion Dispute

Jacqueline Scott and Howard Schuman
American Sociological Review
Vol. 53, No. 5 (Oct., 1988), pp. 785-793
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2095824
Page Count: 9
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Attitude Strength and Social Action in the Abortion Dispute
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Abstract

We develop and test several predictions about who feels most strongly concerning the legalization of abortion. Our initial prediction is that if those who hold a mixed stance about abortion are excluded, the remaining consistent supporters and opponents of abortion should show equal strength of feeling with regard to their respective positions. Using national survey data and several different measures of attitude strength, this prediction is disconfirmed: opponents of abortion are far more likely than proponents to regard the abortion issue as important. This finding holds true when religious affiliation is controlled. We further predict that blacks are less likely than whites to show strong feelings on the abortion issue, and this is confirmed. Finally, we predict that among pro-choice supporters, women will give greater importance to the issue than men, and this is also confirmed.

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