Thursday, January 06, 2011

Men and traditional religion

Men in this corner of the blogosphere complain that Christianity is too feminine. I liked this article by Frederica Mathews-Green. She surveyed one hundred Eastern Orthodox men, most of whom converted as adults, why their church is appealing to guys. I can summarize their answers with a list of adjectives:


Okay, but is the Orthodox sex ratio actually tilted toward men?  Here are the percentages of members who are male by religion (I limited the analyis to people born in America to eliminate a male surplus of immigrants):

Percent male (sample size = 43,632)

Muslim 68.2
Buddhist 60.3
Eastern Orthodox 47.4
Southern Baptist 47.3
Jewish 45.6
Roman Catholic 43.5
Lutheran--Missouri Synod 42.8
Methodist 42.8
American Lutheran 42.3
United Methodist 40.6
Episcopal 37.9
Interdenominational 32.3

It looks like there is a tendency for more traditional religions to appeal to men.


IHTG said...

I wonder if "Buddhist" really is "traditional" in this context.

Hail said...

When is the data on sex-ratio by church from?

The "American Lutheran Church" has not existed since 1988. It and some smaller Lutheran bodies combined into the ELCA that year.

IHTG also has a point that American-born "Buddhists" are not traditional. Further, if this data is from the 1980s, almost all the "American-born Muslims" will be blacks.

Still, I think your conclusion "more traditional religions to appeal to men" is valid.

Ron Guhname said...

Hail: To maximize sample size (non-Christian groups are small), I included all survey years (1972-2008). People are still reporting themselves as American Lutheran--I don't know why.

On Buddhists--is it so male because it attracts intellectuals?

blue said...

Ron Guhname: are you Orthodox? Or is your wife Orthodox?

Ron Guhname said...

blue: I self-disclose too much. I call myself Christian.

Anonymous said...

Buddhism I would expect might be because of a greater male interest in theology and rationality over a feeling of the presence of god (in a kind of "need for a male figure" way, whether that be a Jesus-like or god-like figure).

Muslims I would expect to be because Black Muslims would tilt male.

Or perhaps I'm wrong. What is the sample size like on the Buddhists and Muslims? Perhaps this is an artefact?

sykes.1 said...

47.4% consitutes a minority. All Christian sects selectively attract women. Read Nietzsche.

Anonymous said...

"47.4% consitutes a minority. All Christian sects selectively attract women. Read Nietzsche."

Isn't 47.4% roughly equivalent to the percentage of men in the general population?

I mean, since women live longer, aren't women always a slight majority?

Anonymous said...

Episcopal 37.9
Interdenominational 32.3

Come on. Those aren't religions. More like social clubs married to the Junior League except that is an insult to social clubs and JL.

Hail said...

This may be a case of polling swinging and missing.

Actual membership rolls show:
Greek Orthodox in the USA: 42% male
Episcopalians in the USA : 48% male