Published: February 18, 2019

Perales, F., & Bouma, G. (2018). Religion, religiosity and patriarchal gender beliefs: Understanding the Australian experience. Journal of Sociology, 1440783318791755.


Francisco Perales and Gary Bouma


This study examines diversity in how different religious groups and people with different levels of religiosity see the value and roles of women in Australian society through an examination of their gender beliefs. This addresses a significant gap in knowledge in the Australian scholarship in religious diversity and the impact of religion in family life. Understanding the relationships between religious identity and patriarchal gender attitudes is critical to understanding certain contemporary social problems, such as the links between religion and domestic violence, and devising appropriate intervention. The analyses rely on high-quality panel data from a national sample, the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey. Identifying with a religion is associated with stronger patriarchal attitudes, but there is remarkable heterogeneity in attitudes across religious groups. Higher religiosity is associated with stronger patriarchal beliefs. Differences in patriarchal beliefs between religious and non-religious people in Australia increased between 2005 and 2015.