Two Psychology professors at the University of Maryland have studied the issue of strongly enforced social rules in many states, as against greater, more open minded tolerance in other states.
It is indeed true that America is a complex nation in which social attitudes and influences differ dramatically.
Among the issues utilized are corporal punishment in schools; executions in the state prisons; attitude toward alcohol accessibility; and the legality of same sex marriage and unions.
Predictably, the Southern states are the “tightest”; the Midwest is in the middle; and the Northeast and Pacific Coast are the “loosest” in social mores.
It shows up in political terms, as for instance, Barack Obama was able to win only 40.3 percent of the vote in the “tightest” states, and yet won 58.8 percent of the vote in the “loosest’ states!