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Religious beliefs among Black men and women?in the United States

Thursday, October 18, 2018
posted by Rita Handrich

Pew Research has a new post up comparing the religious beliefs of Black men to those of Black women (as well as White and Hispanic men and women). We’ve written here about the roles of religion and race (and who you want on your jury when) a number of different times here. Most recently, we blogged on the religious practices of Black Americans when compared to White Americans.?

Over time, Pew has developed a scale that considers four topics (i.e., frequency of prayer, belief in God, attendance at religious services, and the importance of religion in one’s life) to assess levels of religious belief and practice as “high”, “medium”, or “low”. Scores on this scale were used to draw conclusions on the religiosity of Black men compared to other groups in the US.?

Pew’s findings may not surprise you but it is good to have data behind what we might guess at so we are more certain of our accuracy. Here is a brief summary of what the Pew report says and what you may wish to take into consideration as you consider jury selection.?

In the US, Pew tells us, men are generally less religious than women and this holds true in the Black community as well.?

Black men are less religious than Black women.?

However, Black men are more religious than White men and they are more religious than White women.?

Black men are also more religious than Hispanic men and roughly equivalent to Hispanic women.?

From a litigation advocacy perspective, if you have a sense that religious commitment would play a role in case support (or lack thereof), this Pew report can give you a good guess on which jurors (Black or White or Hispanic, and Male or Female) would be best for your case. We cannot ‘know’ who is going to be best by just looking at demographic characteristics, but when all else is equal, and religious affiliation (or lack thereof) may make a difference, this is a data based approach to making the best decisions possible.?

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