And Freedom, Well That's Just Some People Talking ...

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Jul 13, 2007 1:26 PM

Arthur Brooks continues to be one of the most readable and insightful writers in America, primarily because rather than relying on anecdotal information to make his arguments, he actually does (gulp) research (as a professor at Syracuse University and a visiting scholar at AEI, what else would you expect?)

Brooks' new
WSJ column points out that religion actually gives women a sense of freedom:

... Intuitively, we would assume that the women who say they feel the most freedom should be the ones least encumbered by restrictive social institutions like traditional religion, marriage and family. The survey data indicate otherwise. 32% of women who never attend a house of worship feel less than a great deal of freedom, versus 18% of women who attend every week. And while women with kids do feel slightly less free than those without, married women are 10 percentage points more likely to say they feel free than single women.

And ...

Outside the Democratic base, the message of oppression appears to have little resonance. Republican women are seven percentage points likelier than Democratic women to say they feel free. And the mixture of gender and politics makes the freedom difference explode: Democratic men are two-thirds likelier than Republican women (29% to 17%) to say they do not have a great deal of freedom.

Brooks' last book, Who Really Cares, debunked the myth that liberals care more (in actuality, conservatives give a lot more to charity). His next book will examine what makes us happy. Stay tuned ...