Is apostasy heritable? A behavior genetics study

Citation

Freeman, Jason A. (2019). Is apostasy heritable? A behavior genetics study. Twin Research and Human Genetics. pp. 1-7

Abstract

The present study explores whether genetic factors explain variation in the levels of apostasy — defined as a disengagement from religious belief, identity and/or practice — in a US-based sample during the transition from adolescence to early adulthood. I posit that genetic factors at least partially explain the variance of three measures of apostasy: disengagement from religious institutions, cessation of prayer and religious disaffiliation. I argue that genetic factors associated with risk-taking behaviors, externalizing behaviors and/or correlates of apostasy may all influence the likelihood of becoming an apostate during the transition from adolescence to early adulthood in the USA. Results reveal that genetic factors explain approximately 34% of the variance in cessation of prayer and 75% of the variance in religious disaffiliation. However, genetic factors do not influence disengagement from religious institutions. This study advances our knowledge of the etiology of apostasy and highlights the need to incorporate genetic data into social scientific research.

URL

https://doi.org/10.1017/thg.2019.4

Keyword(s)

Apostasy

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Twin Research and Human Genetics

Author(s)

Freeman, Jason A.

Year Published

2019

Pages

1-7

Edition

April 16, 2019

ISSN/ISBN

1832-4274

DOI

10.1017/thg.2019.4

Reference ID

7282