The findings of our research point to several interesting factors that continue to be researched. The most notable anomaly in our findings was the lack of support for pay equality amongst men who stated they never attend religious service. An explanation for this finding could be a demographic trend amongst those non-religious men. In order to test this we would control for variables such as economic status, marital status and age. Our prediction is that wealthier unmarried men could oppose pay equality at a higher rate. While this could account for some of the numbers in this category it may not explain why these men’s opposition rate is nearly double that of their more religious counterparts and three times as high as all women who oppose pay equality combined. Another interesting finding in our data is the support for birth control exemption among women who attend church often. This could be further explained by testing for controls such as partisanship and religious denomination. While many of our measure do not explicitly intersect gender and religion this does exactly that. A possible explanation for this trend in our data is that while some may not be opposed to greater availability of birth control fully they may have strong opinionated views on religious liberties and policies they believe run counter to those beliefs.
Future Research and Limitations
Our research found several interesting factors that could lead to further research on the topic of religious influence on women’s rights and gender related issues. First, it has been found that many other factors can affect opinions and attitudes toward gender ideology (Winter 2008). Future research would benefit from the addition of more control variables such as partisan preference, education, age, race, employment status and marital status. Next, our research contained only one measure of religiosity which was the respondent’s self-reported religious service attendance. While the ANES measure did an excellent job at controlling for factors such as occasional events at religious services, this measure would benefit with further indicators on religious preference. Another way to improve future research would be to use expanded election survey data that contains more measures. The ANES specifies that the pilot studies are limited because they are taken in very short time spans in order to get information out as quickly as possible. We ran into several issues with data being coded incorrectly, like the measure on “discrimination against women” being labeled the same as “discrimination against Whites”. When full data becomes available we will try to expand on these findings. Our research could be expanded even more after the 2016 presidential election. With the way gender has been polarized this election through vitriolic language towards women and the candidacy of Hilary Clinton; it would be interesting to see how this data progresses later in the election cycle. Finally, similar to the control variables discussed earlier, this study could expand into the issues of the LGBT community. Many of the measures represented in this study for women have LGBT equivalents. Some of these measures include attitudes on business owners who oppose same-sex marriage, feeling thermometers for LGBT members, and discrimination against LGBT members.