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Religiosity and gender bias structure social networks

Ge, Erhao; DongZhi, CaiRang; Mace, Ruth; (2024) Religiosity and gender bias structure social networks. Evolutionary Human Sciences , 6 , Article e23. 10.1017/ehs.2024.16. Green open access

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Studies examining gender differences in the social relationship rewards associated with costly religious practice have been surprisingly few. Here, we use data from 289 residents of an agricultural Tibetan village to assess whether individuals are more inclined to establish supportive relationships with religious individuals in general and to investigate the gender disparities in the relationship between religiosity and personal network characteristics. Our results reveal that participation in religious rituals contributes to the overall development of social support networks. The benefits to personal networks, however, seem to be contingent upon gender. For resource-intensive, infrequent religious rituals such as distant pilgrimages, males seem to benefit slightly more in terms of elevated in-degree values in their personal networks, despite similar levels of investment as females. In contrast, for daily, low-cost religious practices requiring ongoing participation, both genders obtain similar increase in in-degree values through regular engagement. It becomes more challenging for women to increase their status in communities when the effort invested in religious rituals yields smaller rewards compared to the same effort by men, contributing to ongoing gender inequality. These findings highlight the importance of examining the particular characteristics of religious rituals and the gender disparities in the associated rewards.

Type: Article
Title: Religiosity and gender bias structure social networks
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2024.16
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/ehs.2024.16
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2024. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution and reproduction, provided the original article is properly cited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10190910
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