Godliness is next to manliness
Testosterone is keeping men away from church as religion fails to satisfy the thrill-seeking urge, according to research in the United States.
While women's over-representation in religious participation has been the case for centuries, the question of men's irreligiosity has been largely ignored, says Rodney Stark, a University of Washington professor of sociology and comparative religion.
After studying data from 57 nations covering all the world's major religions, he has concluded that male physiology, not socialisation, has rendered them comparatively godless.
The reason men are less likely than women to be found in a house of worship is the same reason men are more likely to find themselves behind bars, Dr Stark claims.
"Recent studies of biochemistry imply that both male irreligiousness and male lawlessness are rooted in the fact that far more males than females have an underdeveloped ability to inhibit their impulses, especially those involving immediate gratification and thrills," he says in research published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.
Why are men less religious? (University of Washington media release)
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Society for the Scientific Study of Religion
13 Jan 2003