Civil Liberties V. National Security: A Study of Hispanic Students' Public Opinion
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The purpose of this study is to understand Hispanic students’ public opinion on whether they want to protect their civil liberties or prefer more national security to respond to terrorism. I sent an electronic survey to 900 students attending a South Texas university with 193 completed surveys returned. I replicated eight individual counter-terrorism measures from Welch (2015), and derived a component dependent variable using a data reduction technique called principal component analysis. In this study, my independent variables are measures of nationalism, ethnocentrism, and political affiliation. Political affiliation was significantly related to the support for counter-terrorism policy, and the gender of respondents had a significant main effect. Furthermore, females did not support counter-terrorism policies if it meant subjugating their civil liberties. Male respondents supported counter-terrorism policy for more national security, despite the loss of some civil liberties. My study contributes to the fundamental understanding of the role of gender in the support for counter-terrorism policies.