Religion and Child Development

The assault on Christianity and really religion, in general, continues to come from the atheists who run the science community. This time it comes from from the quasi-scientific sociologists.  Sociologists from the University of Texas at San Antonio have recently released a study that makes some very interesting claims about what religion does for children as they grow up. This is part of a broader atheistic push to classify religion as somehow negative for children, following on the heels of atheistic quasi-high priest Richard Dawkins.  This article will evaluate the claims of this study and attempt to separate fact from fiction.

In this study, published in a peer-reviewed journal, the authors tested third-grade students from a national sample.  This sample was examined to determine how frequently the parents discussed religion with their children, fought over religion, and how often they attended religious services.   These factors were then compared against how well adjusted psychologically and socially the third-grade students were. Based on this analysis, the researchers concluded that religious factors positively influenced how third-grade students interacted with their peers, as well as their own mental state.  However, the researchers also stated that reading, science, and math skills were negatively correlated with the third grader’s religious backgrounds.  Let’s break these results down.

First of all, it is hardly surprising that religion is positively correlated to being well adapted psychologically and socially. Man was made to have a relationship with God.  While they can substitute a false deity for the true God, being without any religious affiliation does tend to cause some issues with social and psychological interactions.  This may also explain why some atheists on the internet are so toxic.  However, since the survey does not specify exact religion or denomination of the children so it is impossible to make specific determinations about which religions make a positive impact and how much of an impact they make. However, the one universal across all religions is parents arguing over religion negatively impacts the child’s social and psychological development. Something to keep in mind for anyone who is single and reading this.

The findings that religion hinders growth in science, reading and math are equally unsurprising given the people performing the study. However, let’s break down the results. The strongest correlation in their study is that religion has a negative influence on the ability to learn math, with science and reading trailing behind it.  Because the study does not specify denominations or religions, it could be that the reading issue is due to religions like Islam, which do not prioritize education for women, which might lead to Islamic female students not prioritizing reading or any other form of education. With science, this could be part of the issue, but a further issue could be how they define science.  Since evolution is likely part of the science curriculum, even at this low level, it is possible both Muslims and evangelical Christian children are deliberately choosing answers which are both religiously and scientifically correct, but which are not accepted by the ruling paradigm.  This would lead to their scores being lower when graded for science, despite being factually correct.  Math seems less likely, but, again, we are not looking at data broken down by religious groups so it’s hard to make a definitive case for why this sample gave such a strong negative correlation between math and religion. I suspect there is either sampling bias, or some editing of the numbers in play because most of the great mathematicians of history were devout Christians and or Muslims. The Muslim world, in particular, was influential in the formation of numerous math fields, particularly algebra.

This study is symptomatic of a larger overarching bias against religion in general and Christianity in particular in the mainstream sciences and academia. This is the case for a number of reasons, but most commonly because the vast majority of academia is composed of atheists, agnostics, and lip service Christians.  It is only natural that they would have an innate hostility to Christianity and other religions because, in their heart of hearts, they know there is a deity that they should be worshipping.  Because they are denying this truth, they do not want to be around people who affirm this truth, nor do they want to think that these people have logical arguments that support them.  Therefore they must belittle them at every opportunity, including turning out studies from within the echo chamber of academia that supports their claims, such as this one.


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