Women more religious than men? It's a myth


Christian Life


A Sorbian woman, wearing a traditional costume, attends a holy mass during the Corpus Christi celebrations in Crostwitz, Germany. Photo EPA, Filip Singer

It is true for almost all churches. Attendees are more often female than male. In addition, mothers take more responsibility for the religious education of children than fathers. Yet, it is a myth that women would be more religious, Dutch daily Nederlands Dagblad concludes in an analysis.

Women pray more often than men, read more in the Bible and are more often member of a church, the Nederlands Dagblad points out. In the Western world, about 60 per cent of churchgoers is female. And this is not new; in the first Christian churches, women played an important role.

They are indeed more faithful than men, the Nederlands Dagblad concludes. Women are more open to the spiritual and find it easier to entrust themselves to God. Men think more often that they need to be independent. In addition, some say that many churches have become more and more female. Some men would leave the church because they would not like to see a woman on the pulpit.

Social activities

Yet the question remains whether women like going to church better than men. According to the analysis of the Nederlands Dagblad, it may also have to do with social expectations that differ for men and women. “Many church activities have to do with children, and women still have the largest responsibility in childcare”, the Dutch daily writes. In addition, women are expected to act more social than men. Thus, it is harder for them to withdraw from social activities. If one would take into account all these factors, it seems that women may actually not be much more religious than men, the American theologian Laura Robinson says.

Dutch research concluded in 2019 that there are three reasons why women participate more often in church activities than men. All three have nothing to do with personal faith. The first reason is that women have more health problems on average than men. That would explain why they find it not as difficult to entrust themselves to others. Furthermore, they would avoid risks more than men. They may see the church as something that might be good for something in any case. Lastly, women are more likely to care for others and thus help out with church activities.


The Nederlands Dagblad concludes that men leave the church first when they do not see it as relevant anymore. Women stay longer, but not because they have more faith. “Not that they care so much, but more because they are used to being social and waiting till things go over again”, the newspaper writes.



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