Sunday, May 08, 2011

Religious Women Live Longer

Religious women are very likely to live long lives. “It was the least religious women who were least likely to live a very long life.”

So conclude Howard Friedman and Leslie Martin in The Longevity Project. Since this study followed their subjects from elementary school until death, we can also see what these long-lived religious women were like as children. Even at eleven, they were more prudent, unselfish, and generous than other children. As adults there were more socially involved and outgoing. They were outgoing, but concerned - very friendly, but worriers. This sounds like many of the church moms I have known.

The least religious women, by contrast, were less likely to get and stay married, to have kids, to be involved, or to be trusting.

For men, family and work effects overwhelmed religious effects. For men, religious effects on longevity may be mediated through their wives and the community they create.

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