Generation X More Loyal To Religion Than Previous Generation

Generation X More Loyal To Religion Than Previous Generation

Research published this week reveals a surprising trend among the American Generation X—the
group who came of age in the late 1980s and 1990s and are known for
their rejection of all things conventional. It appears that in
comparison to the Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers are significantly more loyal to


Scientists analyzed survey responses from more than 37,000 people between the years 1973 to 2006. Their results are published in The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.   They found that Boomers are 40 to 50 percent more likely to abandon their religious faith, than Gen-Xers.


Interesting to note, from those surveyed, the number of Americans with no religious affiliation doubled in the 1990s and continues to increase through the
first decade of this century.

(proposed explanations...."

(I didn't want to take the whole article and left out the proposed explanations so that people will go check out the site if they want to)

They ( guess at some explanations that sound far fetched but I'm not a member so I can't see the raw data.

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Replies to This Discussion

I just hope that baby boomer's kids who started with no affiliation were not counted.
As a Gen-Xer I reject this for being too conventional. Also, I just plain don't like it.
Think about it, though. Those who are religious are more intensely religious, due to the rise of the fundamentalists, in the 80's. At the same time, the same thing has driven away people who might otherwise be mildly religious, by making them look more closely at the religion they're being fed and realize that it's bullshit. Fanatics polarize everyone.

And actually, the rise of Atheism makes the fundamentalists more intense than ever, as they feel threatened. I just hope that serves to drive off yet more moderate Christians, as they see what their religion is turning into.
I don't find their explanations convincing either.
How about a statistical crack at it. You have 1000 religious people, 50% are inclined to leave, 50% to stay. In one decade half of the 'leavers' actually leave, thus 25% leave (250/1000). The next decade only 33% are potential leavers. If half of them leave, that's only 16.7% leave (125/750), next decade half of potential leavers leaving is 10% (63/625). A very simplistic model, but shows a natural slowing down of the leavers.
The more sane people leave, the more concentrated the crazies are (and the slower the rate of loss of the sane ones). I see this as the same effect we see with the increasing craziness with the republicans. They keep driving out the moderates leaving behind a shrinking, but crazier party.
This is basically my interpretation. It wouldn't surprise me if the raw total has actually decreased and the article title was written to generate more controversy.

This does raise an interesting issue, with the moderates leaving and no longer available to reign in the zealots, is this going to fuel an echo chamber effect that will cause an increased growth in religious extremism?
That would be my generation. As a group we are rather screwy. I've noticed some of my fellow Xers will adopt something just because their parents or others don't. As a whole we also seem a little more mercenary. If they can network or get something useful socially, politically, or economically out of church I'd be willing to bet that is a major factor
Yay! I'm not GenX! Woohoo! I am a member of the As Yet Unnamed Generation and I like it that way. :oD Okay, I'm finished.
Yeah, you're not a Baby Boomer, and you're not Gen X. I guess you guys just don't matter as much. :-P




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