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The Masks of the Political God by Luca Ozzano

Same-Sex Marriage, Abortion and Drugs. Political Elites Facing Controversial Issues

Latin America
Asbel Bohigues
Universidad de Salamanca
Asbel Bohigues
Universidad de Salamanca
João Victor Guedes-Neto
University of Pittsburgh
Manoel Leonardo Wanderley Duarte Santos
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais UFMG

What explains the attitudes of political elites towards same-sex marriage, the legalization of drugs and abortion? In recent years, several countries have engaged in political disputes centered on these three issues. Scholarship has explored the topic from different perspectives, ranging from theories of democracy to voters’ political behavior. Nonetheless, the perspective of political elites is still understudied. We use data from a survey performed with congressmen from 17 Latin American countries to address this question. First, we find significant differences between and within countries and political parties, meaning these issues are far from consensus. Second, we analyze the effects of ideology, religiosity and sociodemographic characteristics on these social values. We confirm that ideology is a relevant factor, but religiosity is a much stronger and better predictor for conservative positions. Furthermore, we perceive that, contrary to previous analyzes on voters, women are considerably more progressive than men when political elites are considered.
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