New poll reveals young women are abandoning churches in "unprecedented numbers" as young men are finally coming back
· Apr 8, 2024 ·

Gen Z women are leaving Christian churches in record numbers, according to a surprising new poll.

Well, what's surprising is not that young ladies are leaving the Church, but more so that young men are starting to outnumber them in the pews.

Over the last two decades, which witnessed an explosion of religious disaffiliation, it was men more than women who were abandoning their faith commitments. In fact, for as long as we've conducted polls on religion, men have consistently demonstrated lower levels of religious engagement. But something has changed. A new survey reveals that the pattern has now reversed.

There is something about this next generation where the young men are more committed to religion and tradition and the ladies are starting to abandon the Church.

Here is what the trend has looked like across the last 4 generations:

But when in previous years the Church became more feminized and influenced by women, who were close to 60% of congregants in the past, they couldn't keep up with the rapidly changing culture.

Even with complementarianism replacing patriarchy and soft-spoken winsomeness designed to appeal to women, the Church is not able to attract this generation of women.

Even as rates of religious disaffiliation have risen, conservative churches have been able to hold on to their members...

Just want to note that churches that refuse to capitulate on the Word of God actually keep their members.

... but they are facing more of an uphill battle keeping this current generation of young women in the pews. Sixty-one percent of Gen Z women identify as feminist, far greater than women from previous generations. Younger women are more concerned about the unequal treatment of women in American society and are more suspicious of institutions that uphold traditional social arrangements. In a poll we conducted, nearly two-thirds of (65 percent) young women said they do not believe that churches treat men and women equally.

Women are so concerned with equality, especially those who were raised up in today's radical feminist milieu, that they assume any traditional institution is not fair to women.

If you explain complementarianism, that the sexes are equal but different and have been designed for different purposes, your modern Gen Zer is going to call you a patriarchal dictator, no matter how you try to soften your approach.

Speaking of feminism ...

Young women are more educated than their men their age and report greater professional ambition and concern with personal success and growth. Religion and family life are more distant or lower priorities. A recent Pew poll found that it was young men more than women who most aspire to become parents.

This recent study showed 57% of young men want to start a family compared with 45% of young women. It is far from normative for a society to raise such a large percentage of young ladies (who are the gatekeepers for sexual selection and procreation) who do not want to start families.

It's civilizational suicide and a repudiation of God's command to be fruitful and multiply.

Men, meanwhile, seem to be growing into a greater devotion for religion in a way that has been unfamiliar to America since the 20th century began.

What's remarkable is how much larger the generational differences are among women than men. Gen Z men are only 11-points more religiously unaffiliated than Baby Boomer men, but the gap among women is almost two and a half times as large. Thirty-nine percent of Gen Z women are unaffiliated compared to only 14 percent of Baby Boomer women.

As the pollster points out, the lack of women in the church will mean that many important functions of the body may be found lacking in the near future.

Volunteer ministries, for example, are largely spearheaded by women. With fewer women, the Church is likely to look different in how it relates to the culture.

The author at the American Survey Center is less optimistic about the overall outcomes.

None of this is good news for America's places of worship. Many of these young women are gone for good. Studies consistently show that people who leave religion rarely come back, even if they hold on to some of their formative beliefs and practices. The decline in religious participation and membership has provoked a good deal of concern and consternation, but these latest trends represent a four-alarm warning. I'm not sure there will be any answer.

A lot can change from generation to generation. Every nation has gone through times like this. Some have managed to survive by God's grace. Others have faded as the Church continues to grow by leaps and bounds in new places among new peoples.

Let's see what God has in mind for our own future and pray for revival.

P.S. Now check out our latest video 👇

Keep up with our latest videos — Subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Ready to join the conversation? Subscribe today.

Access comments and our fully-featured social platform.

Sign up Now
App screenshot

You must signup or login to view or post comments on this article.