Monday, March 2, 2009

Women More Religious Than Men

A new study of Pew Research Center survey data confirms previous research showing women tend to be more religious than men. Of the 35,000 respondents, 86% of women considered themselves affiliated with a religion, as opposed to 79% of men. Considerably more women than men also had a certain belief in God or a “universal spirit”, as well as belief in a personal god. The greatest difference has to do with prayer. 66% of women prayed at least daily, as opposed to only 49% of men. There are several hypothesis as to why these discrepancies exist, and none of them are welcome sights for those of us who are a little disgusted by traditional female stereotypes. George Gallup, Jr. (of the Gallup polling firm, obviously) believes that women may tend to be more religious because they spend more time raising children, which often means toting the little brats to church. He also says that women have a more flexible daily schedule that allows for more church attendance, and that women tend to be more socially bonded to church groups than men. University of Washington sociologist Rodney Stark suggests that men have a genetic tendency toward low impulse control, which makes them more prone to casting aside religious obligations that stand in the way of instant gratification. Sadly, I think that many women are conditioned from birth to be less expressive and more subservient than men, so I wonder whether these poll results might be skewed by women being more unwilling to reveal their true feelings about the things they were raised to believe. And while I hate that this may be the reality, I can clearly understand why men would want to keep women in check historically. They’re smarter than we are, and there’s nothing we love containing more than terrifying power. Also, boobies are mysterious and wonderful things we don’t quite understand and therefore fear. More details here.

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