Skip Nav
Sutton Foster Interview About Adoption and Motherhood
Sutton Foster
Sutton Foster's Empowering Adoption Story Proves That Becoming a Mom in Your 40s Is an Incredible Gift
What the IVF Sperm Donor Selection Process Is Really Like
Fertility
What It's Really Like to Pick Your Baby's Father Through a Donor Bank
How to Prepare For Motherhood When You've Lost Your Mother
Pregnancy
My Mom Died When I Was 6; Now My Stepmom Is Showing Me How to Love My Daughter
Transracial Adoption Experience
Personal Esssay
How Being a Transracial Adoptee Shaped — but Nearly Shattered — My Self-Identity
Choosing to Have a Baby With a Surrogate
Pregnancy
How I Came to the Difficult Decision to Have a Baby Through a Surrogate

Study Shows Kids Raised With Religion Are Less Altruistic

Kids Who Grow Up With Religion Are Actually Less Generous

Although many parents believe that if they raise their children with a strong sense of faith, their kids will be more altruistic, new research shows that this isn't the case.

According to a study from the University of Chicago, children who grow up in nonreligious households are actually more generous and giving than children from observant families.

The results "contradict the common-sense and popular assumption that children from religious households are more altruistic and kind toward others," according to the published study.

ADVERTISEMENT

Neuroscientist Jean Decety and his team of researchers recruited children between the ages of 5 and 12 years old from seven cities across the world. The 1,170 kids identified themselves as Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, agnostic, other, or not religious.

For the experiment, the children were presented with a collection of 30 stickers and told they could keep their favorite 10 for a game. They were then told that not every kid would get stickers because there wouldn't be enough time for every student in school to play.

The researchers evaluated the kids' levels of altruism by whether the subjects offered to share their stickers with their classmates. Not only did the kids from secular homes share more stickers than their religious counterparts, but the researchers found that the more religious the family, the less altruistic the child. This was true for all religions in the study, and the nonreligious children had generosity scores up to 28 percent higher.

The findings question whether religion is vital for moral development, and researchers concluded that separating religion from morality "will not reduce human kindness — in fact, it will do just the opposite."

Image Source: Shutterstock
Latest Family
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds