Many studies have shown that women are more religious than men, a difference long accepted as an established fact in the sociology of religion. But some recent research has revealed that this difference is not ‘universal’, varying in space and time. However, only a few scholars have focused on religiosity gender-gap trends over time, either on the theoretical or empirical levels. The aim of this article is to help fill this gap by analysing the progress of gender differences in religiosity from 1981 to 2009 in Italy, an interesting cultural context because of the gradual penetration of secularisation and the high level of gender inequality. Our empirical analysis is based on a longitudinal approach, using data from the European Values Study. The findings show that the gender gap in Italy was quite stable in regard to many aspects of religiosity, with three noteworthy exceptions: the gender gap decreased in beliefs, in intergenerational transmission of faith and in adherence to the Church’s doctrines on prostitution, abortion, divorce, euthanasia, suicide and adultery. Contrary to expectations, in most cases this narrowing came about because of an increase in men’s religiosity, not a decrease in women’s.

The Gender Gap in Religiosity Over Time in Italy: Are Men And Women Really Becoming More Similar?

Palmisano, S.;Todesco, L.
2019

Abstract

Many studies have shown that women are more religious than men, a difference long accepted as an established fact in the sociology of religion. But some recent research has revealed that this difference is not ‘universal’, varying in space and time. However, only a few scholars have focused on religiosity gender-gap trends over time, either on the theoretical or empirical levels. The aim of this article is to help fill this gap by analysing the progress of gender differences in religiosity from 1981 to 2009 in Italy, an interesting cultural context because of the gradual penetration of secularisation and the high level of gender inequality. Our empirical analysis is based on a longitudinal approach, using data from the European Values Study. The findings show that the gender gap in Italy was quite stable in regard to many aspects of religiosity, with three noteworthy exceptions: the gender gap decreased in beliefs, in intergenerational transmission of faith and in adherence to the Church’s doctrines on prostitution, abortion, divorce, euthanasia, suicide and adultery. Contrary to expectations, in most cases this narrowing came about because of an increase in men’s religiosity, not a decrease in women’s.
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Gender Gap, Religiosity, Italy
Palmisano, S.; Todesco, L.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1723442
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