From what I've seen, it seems that PerlMonks tends to be more extreme in its tendency (in the aggregate) to punish heresy, but there are fewer positions considered heretical, than Real Life. In other words, the average Monk is less likely to get excoriated for an opinion than the average Human in Real Life, but when it does happen it tends to be far harsher and far less tolerant. I actually started getting private messages from people who have, by making the mistake of supporting a particular PerlMonks-taboo position, been driven to simply shut the hell up and no longer contribute to discussion here — and, of course, I got those messages while I was in the process of getting raked over the coals for supporting that very same position in a recent discussion.
I have pretty thick skin, though, so I'm unlikely to shut up any time soon.
CopyWrite Chad Perrin