Religious kids are harsher and less generous than atheist ones, study says

Fifth graders in Wheaton, Illinois, play a game of gaga ball during recess on Sept. 24, 2015/ The game is a "kinder, gentler" version of dodgeball. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Fifth graders in Wheaton, Illinois, play a game of gaga ball during recess on Sept. 24, 2015/ The game is a “kinder, gentler” version of dodgeball. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

When it comes to teaching kids the Golden Rule, Sunday school might not be the best bet.

A new study in the journal Current Biologyfound children in religious households are significantly less generous than their non-religious peers.

At the same time, religious parents were more likely than non-religious ones to consider their children empathetic and sensitive to the plight of others.

It’s a common assumption in the United States that faith goes hand-in-hand with goodness. The Pew Research Center reported last year that 53 percent of Americans think it’s necessary to believe in God to be moral.

Americans overwhelmingly elect Christian representatives, and they distrust atheists.

This study challenges those attitudes. It was the children in non-religious homes most likely to be generous toward a stranger. The longer a child had lived in a religious home, the stingier he was compared to his secular peers.

Here’s how the study worked: researchers asked kids to play a game which required them to decide how many stickers to share with an anonymous peer from the same school and similar ethnic group.

In their report, the researchers noted it was important for the anonymous stranger to be similar to the child so that other biases didn’t get in the way.

Researchers also measured how children perceived interpersonal harm and what degree of punishment they thought was appropriate. Religious children judged others’ actions as meaner and more deserving of punishment than kids in secular homes.

The study concluded that in this way religious children tend to come across as more judgmental, while also being less altruistic.

Nearly 1,200 children from the U.S., Canada, Jordan, Turkey, South Africa and China participated. Most of the kids came from Christian, Muslim or non-religious households, with a small number from Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu and agnostic homes. Their ages ranged from 5 to 12.

— Melissa Binder

By Melissa Binder | The Oregonian/OregonLive
| Follow on Twitter

164199_550562698299697_29017159_n
Husband Plants a Field of Scented Flowers for His Blind Wife to Smile Every Day
Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 10.52.33
THIS BABY SHOWER WITH MELISANDRE FROM ‘GAME OF THRONES’ IS COMIC GOLD
stuck5
WHEN ANIMALS ARE STUCK BUT PLAY IT COOL…
Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 01.41.48
A NEW BREAKTHROUGH IN CANCER TREATMENT.
introducing-microsoft-surface-studio-all-in-one-touchscreen-pc
Introducing Microsoft Surface Studio
laferrari-aperta-5-800x333
Sebastian Vettel – LaFerrari Aperta
roadtrips-never-felt-this-good-in-rivays-new-vintage-bmw-short-film-featured-tomboy-tarts-2
There Is Something About Driving
elviraandeunice-lfw2of13
The Truth By Carelle Style
1-f3jxsk4xn4o7nr2vidzqqw
How Berry Gordy Revolutionized Rhythm & Blues
Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 18.43.20
Even Bombs Could Not Stop This Wedding
Pommituksen uhria kannetaan ambulanssiin
A Finnish Salute
tumblr_ob1qbm4TSY1spwf52o1_1280
Dog Of War
2BF74FB500000578-3222359-image-a-82_1441369111959
The Rebirth Of Cool Photography- GREG WILLIAMS
509431857_1280x720
GROUP B (TRAILER)
maxresdefault
This Boxing Film Looks Very Good Indeed
http-%2F%2F9network-vod-progressive.akamaized.net%2Fmedia2%2F664969388001%2F2016%2F06%2F664969388001_4999118971001_8117464-20160628-091740-VIDEO-STILL
Seal joins busker for impromptu duet – and its AMAZING!
screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-09-29-17
Jolene
screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-18-39-41
The Rolling Stones – Ride ‘Em On Down
screen-shot-2016-11-26-at-13-57-25
KONG: Skull Island
screen-shot-2016-11-26-at-13-48-08
A HISTORY OF THE PHOTO CAMERA

Follow us on Facebook!