Title

Risk and Religion: An Explanation of Gender Differences in Religiosity

Keywords

Religiosity, Risk preferences, Gender differences, Risk taking, Religion, Risk analysis, Risk aversion, Socialization, Adolescents, Gender roles

Abstract

Gender differences in religiosity are well known. Past studies have consistently shown that females tend to be more religious than males. We propose that gender differences in risk preferences are related to differences in religiosity. Building on the classic concept of "Pascal's wager," we conceive of religious behavior as risk averse and nonreligious behavior as risk taking. Analysis of data from the Monitoring the Future data set shows that the addition of risk preference strongly attenuates gender differences in religiosity. Risk preference also is a significant predictor of religiosity within each gender. Implications of this study are discussed.

Original Publication Citation

Miller, Alan S., and John P. Hoffmann. 1995. “Risk and Religion: An Explanation of Gender Differences in Religiosity.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 34(1): 63-75.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

1995-3

Publisher

Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Sociology

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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