Tuesday, June 24, 2008

More on church attendance

N = 268

N = 269

N = 283

In the last post, I was impressed with the connection between frequent church attendance and moral or self-restrained behavior among young adults (ages 18-25). Let's see if we find the same thing with other General Social Survey (GSS) indicators. I recoded church attendance so attending monthly or more frequently is categorized as "often", while less than monthly is "infrequently."

The top bar graph displays illegal drug use in the past year by church attendance. To be exact, 15.8% of those who go infrequently use illicit drugs versus 1.8% of regular churchgoers.

The graph in the middle shows the percent who have a drinking problem: it's 3.1% compared to none of the frequent attenders. (Of course, the real number is higher than zero, but a sample of 269 didn't pick up anyone).

Finally, attitudes toward cheating on taxes are shown in the bottom bar graph. Of those who don't make it to church much, 27.3% think it's either not wrong or only a little bit wrong, while only 8.4% of regular churchgoers feel the same way.

Having looked at several GSS indicators, young adults who behave in traditionally moral ways or who express moral views go to church more often. These data don't tell us whether good people go to church, or that church makes people good, but it's a compliment to religion either way.


  1. Anonymous5:22 PM

    the meek will inherit the earth......................all they have to do is keep having 2 children apiece generateion after generation while cultural marxism causes everyone else to die out and burn out.....

    Athiests hate it, but Church has obvious benefits just like synagogues do. We will always have some Christians with us, no matter what.

  2. Anonymous9:39 PM

    The church people are paying for my welfare check!

  3. Ron,

    Great post.

    Any chance you could take a look at these pathology numbers by Wordsum scores? It would be interesting to see if churchgoers are better behaved even when the IQ proxy is controlled for (and I think we both suspect they are). It would be easy to do:

    Among those who got 8 answers correct, 9% of those who attended church regularly had been arrested to 23% of those who attended irregularly/not at all.

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