Though women have historically been the stalwarts when it comes to religion, a recent Pew Research Center study shows that Black men may actually be reversing that trend.
The study, published in late September, found that while Black men are less religious than Black women, they tend to be more religious than white women and white men. Moreover, Black men were shown to be more religious than Latino men yet equally religious as Latina women, according to the analysis.
The findings aren’t totally shocking, given previous research on African-American faith. Earlier Pew studies have found that Black folks are more religious than both Latinos and whites, as they’re more likely to read the Bible regularly and consider it the word of God. Black millennials were also found to be more religious than millennials of other races.
About 7 in 10 (69 percent) Black men in the Pew study said religion is very important to them, while roughly 8 in 10 (78 percent) said they believe in God with “absolute certainty.”
Meanwhile, 70 percent said they considered themselves “highly religious,” which Pew’s study defines as someone who says “religion is very important in one’s life, attends religious services at least once a week, prays at least once a week and believes in God with absolute certainty.”
Compared to Black women, however, Black men tend to place less importance on religion. The report showed that 80 percent of Black women consider religion an important part of their lives, while 86 percent are certain of their belief in a higher power.
Roughly 83 percent of Black women fit the description of “highly religious,” compared to 70 percent of Black men. Still, at 70 percent, Black men are more likely than Latina women at 67 percent and white women at 58 percent to deem themselves highly religious. The disparity is even more stark compared to Latino men (50 percent) and white men (40 percent).
Pew researchers based their analysis on data from its 2014 U.S. Religious Landscape Study. The margin of error for black male respondents was plus or minus 2.9 percentage points and was lower for other groups.