Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Who Wants to Burn Books?

 Pew polling asked people whether they thought books that “contain dangerous ideas should be banned from public school libraries.  Up until 2003 about 50%, or slightly more, of Americans agreed with the ban. But, after years of stagnation, the numbers have been dropping. By 2007 it was 47%, 2009 it was 46% and this year it is down to 40%.

So, who is more likely to support banning books today?
When it comes to political parties Republicans are the most in favor of banning books with 46% of them favoring bans. Only 38% of Democrats want to ban books, and independents, at 36% are the most libertarian.  Women are more likely to support banning books than men (43% to 37%).
Age groups show that older people are more totalitarian and younger people more libertarian.  Today 50% of people over the age of 65 want to ban dangerous books, but in 1999 it was 75%. Only 41% of individuals 50 to 64 support the banning of books, but individuals 30 to 49 are less pro-freedom, with 43% supporting bans. For those under 29 years of age support plummets to a mere 25%.
Hispanics are the most anti-freedom of the racial groups when it comes to book bans, with 61% supporting such bans, where 54% of blacks and only 34% of whites supports such policies.

Less educated people are more in favor of book bans than more educated.  55% of Individuals with a high school diploma or less favor book bans, while 36% of those with some college education support the notion, and only 21% of college graduates support the idea.
White evangelicals are the most anti-freedom of the religious groups surveyed with 52% supporting a ban. For white Catholics the support level is 35%, for mainline Protestants it is 34% and for those with no religious affiliation only 16% are ready to ban books.

For data go to Pew.

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