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Gender Gap: Why Are Women More Religious?

Rachel Martin

A new study finds that while Americans overall are a religious bunch compared to people in other developed countries. Among U.S. women, that commitment is especially high, whether it's attending worship services or daily prayer.  We'll look at this gender-gap, what might be behind it, and what it means for organized religion.


  • Zahra Ayubi, assistant professor of religion at Dartmouth College. She specializes in gender in Islam and Muslim women’s movements.  She is also Editor in Chief of Azizah Magazine, a quarterly American Muslim women’s intellectual lifestyle magazine.
  • Randall Balmer, professor of American religious history at Dartmouth College; his latest book is Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter.
  • Michele Dillon, professor of sociology and department chair at UNH. She has written extensively about Catholicism and new religious trends.
  • Caryle Murphy,  senior writer and editor at Pew Research Center. She was a contributor to the Center’s report on gender differences in religious commitment.
Read the report:

  • The Gender Gap in Religion Around the World: "Noting similar gender differences in other countries, mainly in Europe, some social scientists have argued that women are universally more religious than men across all societies, cultures and faiths. More controversially, a few sociologists have theorized that the gender gap in religion is biological in nature, possibly stemming from higher levels of testosterone in men or other physical and genetic differences between the sexes."

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