Regional Difference in Spiritual Attitudes of SpeakOut Youth

Some regional differences surface in SpeakOut respondents’ statements about their life purposes. Rural Chinese youth value service to the motherland and to family: Asian students value getting into a good university: Muslim students value following the principles of their religion and spreading it to others: and African youth place high value on their religion and on having children. Mother of George (2013) portrays this African emphasis on giving birth. The film is about Nigerians living in New York City and the problems created when, a year and a half into marriage, the bride has not gotten pregnant. Reginald, a young Nigerian who gathered book responses for me, explained in an email,

Africans are the most religious, with 67% seeking their purpose in God/Allah, followed by Central and South America (47%) and the Middle East (46%). Western respondents are least likely to know their life purpose—56% in Western Europe and Australia and 20% in North America don’t know. The most altruistic, concerning with doing good deeds, are in India (71%), North America (59%), Eastern Europe (57%), and Central Asia (53%). The most altruistic with a focus on helping family are East Asia (36%), Central Asia (17%), and India (12%). The least altruistic in that they responded to the first question about what you would ask the wisest person by asking about their personal success are Central and South America (37%), followed by 35% in Africa, and 34% in Central Asia and India (gender differences aren’t significant). The most desirous of knowing the meaning of life are in Eastern Europe and Russia (42%), Western Europe and Australia (38%), and North America (37%). Interest in what happens after death is highest in Africa (27%) and Western Europe (19%). Regional differences are more significant than gender or age group.

 

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