Skip to comments.Foreign-Born Hispanics More Conservative
Posted on 12/17/2002 5:25:26 PM PST by Dog Gone
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Hispanics born outside the United States find divorce and abortion less acceptable than non-Hispanic whites, and an overwhelming majority of foreign-born Latinos think children should live in their parents' home until they are married, a poll released Tuesday finds.
Differences exist within Hispanic groups as well, as native-born Latinos tend to have views similar to those of non-Hispanics and be less conservative on many social issues than foreign-born Latinos, according to the poll conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center and the Kaiser Family Foundation.
For instance, the research groups found that 20 percent of foreign-born Hispanics found homosexual sex to be acceptable, compared with 33 percent of native-born Hispanics, 38 percent of whites and 14 percent of blacks.
The federal government considers Hispanic to be an ethnicity, not a race; people of Hispanic ethnicity can be of any race. Blacks and whites surveyed were not of Hispanic ethnicity.
Foreign and native-born Hispanics agreed on several things -- 8 of 10 in each group were confident that Hispanic children today would get a better education than they had, while about 4 in 10 said they were not confident children would hold the same moral values.
The results show that while Hispanics share some common beliefs, distinct viewpoints have emerged as new immigrants arrive and older immigrants and first- and second-generation Americans become assimilated into U.S. culture.
Hispanics born or educated in the United States have more exposure to popular, and often more liberal, views and opinions of social issues that differ from their native countries, said Pew Hispanic Center director Roberto Suro.
The research also shows that those who speak more English tend to have less conservative views. As a result, recent immigrants who speak mainly Spanish may simply be less able ``to absorb American values and beliefs,'' Suro said.
The poll of adults surveyed by telephone last spring included 2,929 who identified themselves as Hispanics, along with 1,008 whites and 171 blacks. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points for Latinos overall, plus or minus 3.3 percentage points for whites and plus or minus 9.9 percentage points for blacks.
Though blacks and whites were polled in some topics, the survey primarily focused on Hispanic viewpoints on racial, economic and social issues.
Among foreign-born Hispanics, 51 percent said they found divorce acceptable, compared with 65 percent of U.S.-born Hispanics, 59 percent of blacks and 74 percent of whites. There were similar differences among those who found abortion acceptable: 14 percent of foreign-born Hispanics, compared with 29 percent of native-born Hispanics, 28 percent of blacks and 43 percent of whites.
In addition, 91 percent of foreign-born Latinos said they thought it was better for children to live in their parents' home until they were married. That was compared with 57 percent of native-born Latinos, 46 percent of whites and 47 percent of blacks.
``You can call it `The Melting Pot', you can call it assimilation, call it whatever you want, but what is clear here is there is a process of change going on'' in terms of Hispanic attitudes, Suro said.
Meanwhile, 31 percent of Latinos said they, or someone they knew, had experienced discrimination in the past five years because of their background, compared with 13 percent of whites and 46 percent of blacks.
``On some levels, Sept. 11 raised the whole question of who belongs in this country and who doesn't. In doing that, it gave voice and permitted people to discriminate,'' said Vibiana Andrade, vice president of public policy for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund in Los Angeles.
An overwhelming majority of Hispanics considered Latino-against-Latino discrimination to be a problem, although views varied according to people's backgrounds. For instance, Colombians and Dominicans were more likely to consider such discrimination a problem than Puerto Ricans.
Among Hispanics, Colombians and Dominicans are relatively newer groups in the United States and may tend more toward living and working in primarily Latino neighborhoods, suggested Mollyann Brodie, director of public opinion and media research at the Kaiser Family Foundation. As a result, their experiences with discrimination may be limited to occurrences involving other Hispanics.