American Women are More Religious Than Men

In U.S., women more likely than men to think about life’s big questions and to believe in fate

Religion researchers often find that women around the world are more likely than men to believe in God and other religious concepts such as heaven and hell. A new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. adults shows that women also are more likely to think about why bad things happen to people, and to believe in fate.

Two-thirds of women say that in the past year, they have personally thought ‘a lot’ or ‘some’ about big questions such as the meaning of life, whether there is any purpose to suffering and why terrible things happen to people, compared with 55% of men who report the same. Women also are more likely than men to say they often feel sadness for – and a desire to help – people who are suffering.

Morever, three-quarters of women believe that everything in life happens for a reason, compared with six-in-ten men. Similarly, women are much more likely than men (51% vs. 35%) to believe in fate – that is, that the course of their lives is predetermined.

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