Accounting for the sex difference in religiosity has centered recently on a problematic risk-management thesis. I concur that risk is indeed importantÌ¢âÂ"but primarily as a signal of an underlying semi-heritable trait called sensation-seeking. This trait directly contributes to, and is antecedent to, risk preference and assessment. Sensation-seekers take risks to gain new, varied, and novel experiences, which are often lacking in religious settings. Using direct measures from the 2006 Panel Study on American Religion and Ethnicity, I find that enjoying thrilling and frightening sensations and experiences has a direct negative effect on personal religiosity. Sensation-seeking also somewhat mediates the effect of biological sex on religiosity. These two effects provide plausible support for the partial-heritability thesis and demonstrate that biology and personality influence personal religiosity.
|Author||Daniel F Escher|
|Contributor||Kraig Beyerlein, Committee Member|
|Contributor||Jessica Collett, Committee Member|
|Contributor||Christian Smith, Committee Chair|
|Degree Level||Master's Thesis|
|Departments and Units|