Women more religious than men, study finds

Christian women especially pious

Christian women are generally more devout than men when standard measures of religious commitment are considered, a study by the US Pew Research Centre has found.

- Catholic News Service/The Catholic Herald

Christian women are more likely to attend weekly religious services, be involved in daily prayer, and consider religion important in their lives at higher rates than men, according to the study’s findings, released on March 22.

However, among Muslims, religious practice by men was significantly higher than by women when using the same standards, researchers discovered.

The findings correspond to the cultural norm in most Islamic societies that Muslim men are expected to attend communal Friday midday prayer in the mosque. Women can fulfil the Friday prayer requirement individually, either inside or outside the mosque.

The findings were are part of a comprehensive look at religious practices by gender among Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews and the religiously unaffiliated in 192 countries and territories.

Overall, 83.4 percent of women around the world identify with a faith group while 79.9 percent of men do so. The study utilised census data, surveys and population registers from recent years in analysing religious practices.

The comprehensive study includes data on gender and religion not previously analysed from Middle Eastern, Latin American and some Asian countries, said Conrad Hackett, a demographer with the Pew Research Centre who was the primary researcher on The Gender Gap in Religion Around the World.

“We did find that on many measures, particularly Christian women are more religiously committed than men,” Mr Hackett told the Catholic News Service.

“But one of the interesting things, the same pattern does not hold among Muslims. There really is not a measure by which Muslim women are more religious than Muslim men,” he added.

Photo: A woman prays at St Patrick's Cathedral in New York (CNS)

FULL STORY Pew study finds women generally more religious than men

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