Religion and donating blood: Some readers evidently didn't like my analysis on religion and soft-heartedness. In their view, the measure I used is problematic, and behavior, not self-characterization, is the important question. Well, the Inductivist is here to please, so I have calculated the percent who have donated blood in the past year at least once by religion (I limited analyses to religions with at least 30 survey respondents):
Percent who donated blood in the past year
These numbers do not support the view that religion generates altruistic behavior since those without a religion are ranked third in a field of six. Again, I am surprised that Jews are at the bottom.
Of course, it's conventional wisdom in sociology (if it can be said to possess any wisdom) that affiliation is not particularly potent--it's commitment to a religion that matters. So does blood donation vary by attendance?
Percent who donated blood in the past year by frequency of church attendance
More than weekly 19.7
Nearly every week 17.4
Two or three times/month 19.8
Once a month 20.1
Several times a year 16.7
Once a year 14.4
Less than once a year 15.9
Those who attend, whatever the frequency, are not that far apart, but the irreligious are noticeably stingier with their blood.
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