3 for Thursday: 3 Recent Studies on Conservatives and Religion

Survey-featThere’s never a shortage of surveys, polls, and studies on religion, but recently there are three with fascinating results that might challenge public perception of religiosity.

1. Evangelical non-profits: “No girls allowed”

Having spent years in the evangelical non-profit world, I’ve seen plenty of boards loaded with mostly (if not only) men. Women are often marginalized to non-leadership (or advisory) positions. So this next study really doesn’t surprise me.

A new study by researchers at Gordon College and Wheaton College has confirmed what many have long suspected — that many evangelical institutions lag far behind the general marketplace in leadership roles for women.

Looking at more than 1,400 evangelical organizations, researchers for the Women in Leadership National Study found that women held 21 percent of board positions, 19 percent of top-paid leadership roles and 16 percent of CEO posts in 2010.

In comparison, women make up 43 percent of nonprofit boards and 40 percent of CEOs in the general marketplace.

Read the full article at RNS….

2.The Bible belt loves porn

More than one study has shown that porn use is higher in areas often known for religiosity, and new research shows that is very much the case when it comes to the Bible Belt. According to the study, “US states with a higher degree of religiosity are more likely to be searching for sex on the web.”

Using data from two years of Google search trends, researchers at Brock University in Ontario, Canada discovered that “states identified as religiously conservative and politically conservative were indulging in more online pornography than other more liberal states.”

Religiously conservative states had higher proportions of searches for generalised sex terms, while politically conservative states were more likely to use specific terms like “free porn” or “xxx”.

“Across two separate years, and controlling for demographic variables, we observed moderate-to-large positive associations between: greater proportions of state-level religiosity and general web searching for sexual content and greater proportions of state-level conservatism and image-specific searching for sex,” said the study authors.

Read more at Christianity Today…

3. Southern Evangelicals on the decline

….In recent years, for example, the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest evangelical denomination in the country, has reported steady declines in membership and new baptisms. Since 2007, the number of white evangelical Protestants nationwide has slipped from 22 percent in 2007 to 18 percent today…

…Compared to 2007, just after the 2006 midterm elections, the five southern states where there are tight Senate races have one thing in common: the proportion of white evangelical Protestants has dropped significantly….

Read more at The Atlantic…

In search of belief changing ideas