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Excerpt: "At the age of eighteen, American youths must make an ideological decision about war. Although most probably perceive selective service registration as little more than a rite of passage, others struggle with the ethics of military service and options of conscientious objection.

What can be said of youths who decide, for moral and religious reasons, that they will not be involved in warfare? To date, no descriptive studies have been reported that address this question. Previous studies on pacifism focus on the likelihood of pacifism in eliciting cooperation (Gruder & Duslak, 1973; Marwell & Schmitt, 1973) or aggression (Borden, 1975; Borden & Taylor, 1976; Fitz, Kimble, & Heidenfelder, 1979; Fitz, Marwit, & Gerstenzang, 1983; Kimble, Fitz, Onorad, 1977; Mander & Gaebelein, 1977). Moreover, these studies have typically recruited participants who were assigned pacifistic strategies rather than recruiting those with pre-existing pacifistic inclinations."


Originally published in International Journal of Group Tensions, 1991, Volume 21, Number 3.

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