Gen Z women leading exodus from churches

We keep learning more about the declining number of people in pews. This months news, which cant be good for churches, is that younger women now seem to be leading the exodus.

The Survey Center of American Life reports that, after two decades of finding that men led the way out of pews, younger women now lead the way to the exits.

Gen Z is flipping the script. The center found that with the Baby Boom generation, born 1946-1964, 57% of people who disaffiliated were men, while only 43% were women. However, 54% of Gen Z adults, born 1997-2012, who left their religion are women while 46% are men. That’s a big swing in who some researchers call Nones,” meaning no religion or none in particular.

Many separate factors

The American Survey Center cites several reasons for rising departures of women from organized religion:

  • Younger women are more educated than men their age. This implies higher professional ambition and goals for women.
  • Young men now show more interest in becoming parents than young women do.
  • Abortion, of greater import to women, has driven more of them to be liberal.
  • Young women today are more likely to identify as LGBTQ+ than men are. This is another indicator that churches might not be for them.

And one big change
Todays young women are fare more concerned than earlier generations — and today’s men — about gender inequality. The center says they are also less tolerant of institutions that support the status quo. About two-thirds of young women in a center poll said they don’t believe churches treat men and women equally.

What does the future hold?

The Survey Center on American Life called this flip a red alert. It noted that people who leave religions seldom come back. A statistic from the Pew Research Center offers another warning.

Gender of religiously unaffiliated parents with children under 18. 31% for women and 22% for men.

Courtesy Pew Research Center

Pew found that 31% of U.S. mothers with children under 18 are religiously unaffiliated, while 22% of U.S. fathers are unaffiliated. This, taken with the fact that people tend to maintain their parents religion, indicates the exodus of Gen Z women could be compounded in the next generation.

We invite you to explore the issues further in two of our Bias Busters guides:

100 Questions and Answers About the Religiously Unaffiliated and our double edition: 100 Questions About and Gen X and 100 (more) About Gen Z. Find these and about 20 more concise Bias Busters guides  in print and digital formats on Amazon.

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