Title

The Association Between Sexual Abuse Allegations In the Catholic Church and South Carolina Mass Attendance

Author(s)

Haleigh Hankins

School Name

Chapin High School

Grade Level

11th Grade

Presentation Topic

Sociology

Presentation Type

Non-Mentored

Abstract

Allegations of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests, nuns, and members of religious orders spiked in 2001 while some recent allegations came under public scrutiny in the spring of 2019. There are approximately 1,700 priests and other clergy members who are credibly accused of abusing minors. Along with this, Mass attendance levels have been decreasing progressively due to a change in religiosity. This study provides a local view of the association between the media coverage of allegations of abuse and shifts in Mass attendance. It also allows for a quantitative measure of Mass attendance rather than a survey that could be considered unreliable. The hypothesis in this research was that there would be a decrease in Mass attendance directly after the media spike in allegations of abuse. After this decrease, the Mass attendance would level out or slowly climb up to its original state. Compared to other studies within its field, the research being conducted is statistical, meaning it does not rely on a survey or other qualitative means of gathering data. Along with this, the study is local, portraying the association between Mass attendance and allegations of sexual abuse on individual parishes within South Carolina. The study determined that there was almost no correlation between shifts in Mass attendance and the spike in allegations of sexual abuse.

Location

Furman Hall 209

Start Date

3-28-2020 10:15 AM

Presentation Format

Oral and Written

Group Project

No

COinS
 
Mar 28th, 10:15 AM

The Association Between Sexual Abuse Allegations In the Catholic Church and South Carolina Mass Attendance

Furman Hall 209

Allegations of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests, nuns, and members of religious orders spiked in 2001 while some recent allegations came under public scrutiny in the spring of 2019. There are approximately 1,700 priests and other clergy members who are credibly accused of abusing minors. Along with this, Mass attendance levels have been decreasing progressively due to a change in religiosity. This study provides a local view of the association between the media coverage of allegations of abuse and shifts in Mass attendance. It also allows for a quantitative measure of Mass attendance rather than a survey that could be considered unreliable. The hypothesis in this research was that there would be a decrease in Mass attendance directly after the media spike in allegations of abuse. After this decrease, the Mass attendance would level out or slowly climb up to its original state. Compared to other studies within its field, the research being conducted is statistical, meaning it does not rely on a survey or other qualitative means of gathering data. Along with this, the study is local, portraying the association between Mass attendance and allegations of sexual abuse on individual parishes within South Carolina. The study determined that there was almost no correlation between shifts in Mass attendance and the spike in allegations of sexual abuse.