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It's been said that women are better represented in the pews of US congregations. This link says it's 61% female.

Questions:

1) Is the ratio this strong if you account for higher female longevity?

2) Has any scholarly study looked at the reasons for the divide as a function of the theological outlook of the congregations? Such as fundamentalist/revisionist, patriotic/peacenick, theology of cross/glory, high/low worship style?

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Women just happen to be more religious than men? –  Anonymous Sep 24 '13 at 1:41
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@Anonymous Believe it or not, that is probably true –  Ignatius Theophorus Sep 24 '13 at 3:10
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I did a lot of looking into this. I think that the female/male ratio is similar in Unitarian churches so that religion may have nothing to do with the discrepancy. –  dcaswell Sep 24 '13 at 18:12
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There's a theory that the "softer" theology of love, peace, and kindness appeals to more women than men. There are some groups that are trying to reach men by rephrasing the message to appeal to strength, discipline, etc. –  crownjewel82 Sep 25 '13 at 15:56
    
@crownjewel82 I have heard and seen that more than a few times and consequently agree with you, although another reason I've heard and would have to agree with (being male) is that men with their "manly pride" have more trouble with the idea of submitting to God –  Chuck Fulminata Oct 12 '13 at 4:46

1 Answer 1

The apparent discrepancy in the male to female ratio apparently does not stem from theological or ideological precepts, but from historical happenstance.

Until World War 2 most of the duties around the church were performed by the men of the church.

World War 2 being waged both in Europe and the Pacific required so many men that most if not all churches, were left with to few men to maintain the Buildings and grounds, let alone prepare for services.

Most of the duties around the church were assumed by women, and the churches became a gathering place for them where they met and exchanged news about how the men were faring in the war. There was ample news about battles and such, but things concerning local men, could only be gotten from the letters received by their wives, or parents.

Churches not only became the center for local news but also a place to gather and pray for the men who were serving in the Armed services.

There was also a shortage of many things needed by families, due to the necessity of supplying the troops.

So many lives were lost in the War that there was virtually no community which went untouched.

The women of the church would comfort and aid the families who lost their husbands, sons, and fathers.

Even after the war ended casualties had been so great that most churches either did not have enough men left to take over church duties, or many of those who returned from the war had sustained injuries that precluded them reassuming those duties.

After World War 2 women kept most of the duties in keeping up the churches, and continue to do so today.

Today women still feel like the church is like family more than men do, and to this day the camaraderie among the churches women, is far greater that that of the men.

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