Study Shows Calvinists Are More Likely to Believe Women Cause Domestic Violence and Oppose Social Justice

Christians who hold Calvinist beliefs are more likely to believe certain myths about domestic violence against women and oppose social justice advocacy, a new study has found.

The study surveyed 238 seminary students and found that those who agreed with Calvinist beliefs were also more likely to agree with certain statements like, “A lot of domestic violence occurs because women keep on arguing about things with their partners,” and “Many women have an unconscious wish to be dominated by their partners,” according to a Dec. 20 article at

The peer-reviewed study, “Religious beliefs and domestic violence myths,” was published in the November 2018 edition of Psychology of Religion and Spirituality. Its authors are Peter Jankowski, Steven Sandage, Miriam Whitney Cornell, Cheryl Bissonette, Andy Johnson, Sarah Crabtree, and Mary Jensen.

All the students surveyed were attending Bethel Seminary, an evangelical institution in St. Paul, Minnesota.

“Calvinist beliefs were also positively associated with endorsements of social hierarchy, and negatively related to social justice advocacy — such as speaking out for equality for women. In addition, Calvinist beliefs were linked to higher levels of existential defensiveness, or a belief that God would protect them more than other people,” PsyPost noted.

Sandage, the Albert and Jessie Danielsen professor of psychology of religion and theology at Boston University and director of research at the Danielsen Institute, told PsyPost that the research questions partly arose out of concerns he encountered as a Christian couples therapist at New Calvinist churches. He encouraged fellow therapists to educate themselves on the theological views of their clients.

“I would encourage therapists to become conversant with theology, not to try to change their clients’ perspectives but to be able to dialogue about issues that are central to their views of suffering and holiness. I found that, in many cases, a willingness to thoughtfully and respectfully engage clients’ theological perspectives served to deepen the therapy relationship and provided a pathway into deep core dilemmas about life and relationships,” he said.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Napp Nazworth