College graduates are more likely to consider the Ten Commandments irrelevant and reject the Bible as the word of God than those with no college degree, according to a recent study.
A "distinct shift" occurs after college regarding beliefs and opinion, said Richard Brake, director of university studies at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.
The survey polled 2,508 Americans to measure the impact of a college degree on people's beliefs. The Wilmington, Del.-based ISI has administered the survey for the past three years.
The study also found that people with college degrees were more likely to support same-sex marriage, as well as abortion available at any stage of pregnancy and for any reason. Graduates were also more likely to believe that public school teachers should not be allowed to lead prayers in schools.
In addition, the more academic degrees a person acquires, the more extreme his or her beliefs land on the spectrum. For example, 57 percent of high-school graduates agree that public school teachers should be allowed to lead prayers in schools, compared to 39.4 percent of college graduates, 30.3 percent of those holding a master's degree, and 17 percent of those with a doctorate.
The shift may be attributed to the unpopularity of strong religious views in academia, Brake said. "I think one of the reasons you see this shift is the people who work in academia share these same views," he added.
Professors were also more likely than the general population to support co-ed dormitories and to agree that educators should "instill more doubt in students and reject certainty," the study found.
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