The perceived irreligious nature of men has been a subject of conversation for decades. Recent studies confirm that men are less likely (than women) to believe in God, pray, and attended regular worship services. Although male irreligiousness might be a revelation for some, it is not a new phenomenon. Since the early days of Christianity, women have been a dominate force in religion, including those religious sects considered to be male centered.
For many years psychologist and sociologist have attempted to uncover the foundational basis for the overwhelming disparity between male and female religious commitment. One explanation links male irreligiousness and male lawlessness to the fact that men tend to lack the ability to fully inhibit their impulses, particularly those related to immediate gratification and thrills. As a result men are more likely to engage in risky behavior, leading some to prison.
According to Rodney Stark, a University of Washington professor of sociology and comparative religion, “going to prison or going to hell just doesn’t matter to these men.” Currently, there are more than 19,000 men currently serving time in Tennessee prisons. Incognizant of the omnipresent nature of God, many of them tend to “find” religion while they are in incarcerated. Ironically, had such men embarked upon their religious journey of discovery prior to encounters with the justice system, our prisons would probably be less populated.
However, we should consider the fact that the journey to salvation may require some to travel down darker roads than others. We should all remember that aside from any type of statistical data related to gender, race or social status, our God gives each one of us the individual opportunity to choose good over evil, right over wrong, and heaven over misery.
Written by Sandra Prewitt