Gregory Paul and Phil Zuckerman in a long article titled Why the gods are not winning say that, “Women church goers greatly outnumber men, who find church too dull. Here’s the kicker. Children tend to pick up their beliefs from their fathers. So, despite a vibrant evangelical youth cohort, young Americans taken as a whole are the least religious and most culturally tolerant age group in the nation.” (My italics)
The paper does not provide citations, unfortunately, though I did find a little support in the literature for the claim. For example, in a paper titled On the Relative Influence of Mothers and Fathers: A Covariance Analysis of Political and Religious Socialization (August 1978, JOURNAL OF MARRIAGE AND THE FAMILY, vol. 40, no. 3, p. 519-530) authors Alan C. Acock and Vern L. Bengtson say that “The mother consistently appears more predictive in most areas we examined and is often the dominant parent in terms of prediction. The only areas in which the fathers had a slight edge were in Religious Behavior, Religiosity, and Tolerance of Deviance.”
My parents had similar religious beliefs so I cannot tell who influenced me more. I had not been aware of the greater influence of fathers on children’s religious beliefs and am curious if this statement is consistent with the experiences of readers of this blog.
So are your religious views closer to your father or your mother?