It is important to note that only a few studies have ever been started with sex differences in religiosity as the actual research question. While almost no studies were ever initiated to look at sex differences, the finding of consistent differences between women and men just emerged from data whenever researchers cared to make a comparison (e.g., Hollinger & Smith, 2002).

In studies of religious behavior over the past 100 years, the greater religiosity of women must be one of the oldest, and clearest, findings. It has been reported in comprehensive surveys of the research literature in the sociology and psychology of religion over the past 50 years (Argyle, 1958; Argyle & Beit-Hallahmi, 1975; Beit-Hallahmi, 1989; Beit-Hallahmi & Argyle, 1997; Lenski, 1953), but this ubiquitous difference between men and women is rarely mentioned in the literature on sex differences.

We will use the ratio of females to males as our main measure of differences, so that 1.50, for example, means that 50% more women than men are involved in a particular activity. We will start with those aspects of religion where the greatest differences have been reported, and work downwards.

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