FACTORS OF EUROPEAN RACIALISM
No simple explanation such as that afforded by the distorted theology of Dutch South African Calvinism can be of much help in understanding the complex grouping of forces and factors which underlie the racial attitudes of the European population in British Central Africa. Among the vast majority of the Federation's white settlers, racial attitudes, whether liberal, conservative, or in-between, are not the manifestation of a systematic theology or philosophy. The Rhodesians, other than the Afrikaner minority, are either agnostics, atheists, or adherents of one of a dozen religious "denominations" not one of which actively condones a creed of racial superiority. Unlike the majority of South Africans, the majority of Rhodesians formulate their racial attitudes on a pragmatic or, in any event, functional basis and not on the base of an all-embracing philosophy about life and eternity.
What, then, are the factors which condition the racial attitudes of the whites of the Federation? It was the purpose of the Attitude Survey, conducted in connection with this study in 1957, to find out. The purposes, limitations and techniques of the Attitude Survey are discussed in Chapter One of this study.
It is frequently suggested in the Federation, as in the Southern States of the United States, that it is the white women who are most responsible for the conservative, white-supremacy attitude of the white population. While it would be extremely difficult to test the comparative importance of men and women in influencing each other's attitudes and the attitudes of their children and neighbors, it was possible to discover that women do tend towards a more conservative attitude in matters of race. The difference between the sexes in the white population is not, however, large enough to warrant the conclusion, without more research, that women are responsible for the prevailing racial attitudes.