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Title: The religiosity gender gap in 14 diverse societies
Authors: Vardy, T
Moya, C
Placek, CD
Apicella, CL
Bolyanatz, A
Cohen, E
Handley, C
Kundtová Klocová, E
Lesorogol, C
Mathew, S
McNamara, SA
Purzycki, BG
Soler, M
Weigel, JL
Willard, AK
Xygalatas, D
Norenzayan, A
Henrich, J
Lang, M
Atkinson, QD
Keywords: cultural evolution;cross-cultural research;moralistic gods;secularization;risk;supernatural punishment
Issue Date: 6-Apr-2022
Publisher: Routledge (Taylor and Francis Group)
Citation: Vardy, T. et al. (2022) 'The religiosity gender gap in 14 diverse societies', Religion, Brain and Behavior, 12 (1-2), pp. 18 - 37. doi: 10.1080/2153599x.2021.2006292.
Abstract: Scholars of religion have long sought to explain the persistent finding that women tend to report greater religiosity than men. However, the size of this “gender gap” may depend on the measure of religiosity employed, the religious tradition being sampled, and socio-demographic factors. Here, we conduct a systematic cross-cultural investigation into the prevalence of, and explanations for, the religiosity gender gap in 2,002 individuals from 14 diverse societies. While variation exists across societies, women in general indicate greater mental commitment (i.e., thinking and worrying more about) to their community’s moralistic god, more frequent participation in rituals for their community’s moralistic god, and more frequent prayer. While we find that the gender gap extends beyond the Christian world, no such difference was seen in religious commitment towards more local gods, to which men tend to show greater commitment. Tentative support is provided for explanations relating gender differences in religiosity to lower formal education and greater mentalizing among women, however an explanation for greater religious commitment to local gods among men remains elusive. Nevertheless, our data suggest that the moralizing gods of some contemporary world religions, unlike local deities and traditions, have evolved in ways that make them more appealing to women.
Description: Supplemental material is available online at .
ISSN: 2153-599X
Other Identifiers: ORCID iDs: Cristina Moya; Emma Cohen; Eva Kundtová Klocovái; Benjamin G. Purzyckin; Aiyana K. Willard; Dimitris Xygalatass; Martin Lang; Quentin Atkinson
Appears in Collections:Dept of Life Sciences Research Papers

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