Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Church attendance by gender

(Part 5 in an 8 post series on Christian church attendance)

In previous posts, I examined rates of church attendance among Christians over time and by denomination. Here I look at gender differences. In the plot below, I present the percentage of Christian men and Christian women who attend church on a weekly basis. Usiing GSS data, I plot this for the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s to describe how attendance rates have changed.

As a reminder, this analysis does *not* measure how many people attend church, rather, among Christians, how often do they attend. As such, it's best understood as a measure of involvement and commitment rather than church growth.

As shown, weekly attendance rates are consistently 7-10% higher for women than men, indicating that women Christians are more likely to attend church frequently than men. It's generally assummed that women are more likely to be Christians than men, and this analysis shows that once Christians, they tend to be more involved in church services than men.

Over time, however, the gender gap appears to be closing. Attendance rates are dropping slightly for women, but they have recently increased somewhat for men, such that 2000 rates for men are of approaching a similar magnitude as 1970 rates.

Next: Church attendance by gender by denomination

No comments: