Sorority and Fraternity Membership and Religious Behaviors: Relation to Gender Attitudes

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Abstract

This study was designed to explore gender attitudes and religious behaviors among sorority/fraternity (S/F) and non-S/F undergraduates. Two hundred and seventy-nine participants completed the Gender Attitude Inventory (GAI, a multidimensional gender attitudes instrument), items that assessed religious behaviors (i.e., attendance in a place of worship and frequency of prayer), and a measure of social desirability. Overall, it was found that fraternity members, compared to sorority and non-S/F members, held more stereotypical gender attitudes. Specifically, the results suggest that fraternity members tend to accept stereotypical beliefs about women and male heterosexual violence toward women; endorse casual sex by women; reject women's political leadership; oppose women's rights; and believe in differential work roles. Attendance in a place of worship and prayer were related to greater disapproval of casual sex by women. Non-S/F members who prayed at least weekly reported slightly higher condemnation of homosexuality than S/F members did.

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