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Thread: Religion Delays Social and Physical Maturation

  1. #1 Religion Delays Social and Physical Maturation 
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    This is something I've been thinking about for a matter of years now. The majority of my classmates in school were christian, whereas only myself and one other person were open athiests. While were subject to largely the same environment during school, after-school and weekends were quite distinct environments and I wondered if this could impact upon development. This group of christians (my classmates), right up until we left school at 18, were particularly shy of female contact, and avoided any conversations, television shows and magazines that may have been of a sexual nature; they didn't partake in drinking at the weekend and socialising with other mature members of the population; consequently, their social activities and efforts weren't directed towards the acquisition of a female companion, but were largely restricted to male - male interaction, playing sport or video games at attending church and other religious meetings. My atheist friend remarked one day that many of our classmates took on a child-like, immature manner as a result of their religious teachings, and perhaps this correlated with the fact that many of them still had no facial hair.

    Admittedly, the sample size was far too small to deduce any significant answer, but from my own experience I think it's entirely feasible. The external environment regulates hormone production, so if the environment is as outlined above, would/could hormones responsible for the onset of puberty be diminished?


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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    of course the causality could be the other way round : immature individuals may be more drawn towards the comfort blanket of religion ?


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    Or maybe people tend to think they themselves are more mature than other people. As for facial hair being affected by one's religious belief, that's preposterous.
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    of course the causality could be the other way round : immature individuals may be more drawn towards the comfort blanket of religion ?
    Interesting, it could essentially be a two-way system, initially used as a comfort blanket but as there is no willingness to socially mature, could that impact upon physical maturation? It would also suggest a rather abstract reason for people choosing to be religious, having much less to do with faith, and more to do with social security.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Or maybe people tend to think they themselves are more mature than other people. As for facial hair being affected by one's religious belief, that's preposterous.
    You have completely missed the point. I didn't once mention 'belief', but social teachings - such as abstenince from mature activities. The external environment regulates hormone levels. Did you even read the post?
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    So then it's abstinence from sex, liquor etc., that causes lack of facial hair? Sorry but that's equally preposterous.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    So then it's abstinence from sex, liquor etc., that causes lack of facial hair? Sorry but that's equally preposterous.
    Why? The idea has a very simple underlying biological question: what are the environmental markers that trigger and/ or upregulate the hormones that stimulate the induction and enhancement of puberty? 'Facial hair' was simply an umbrella term for puberty.

    If there's a diminished mental longing to partake in social activities that are, in large, only carried out by adults; why would the body produce hormones and consume energy to trigger development when there is no requirement for it? This would be one factor in many, genetics would ensure that eventually the body is fully matured, but the phenotype is a result of genetic and environmental factors, you haven't given any reason why you think such an environmental factor wouldn't have any impact upon maturation other than to, rather quite ignorantly, state that it's "preposterous".
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    As far as relationships with the opposite sex are concerned, as long as you are aiming for marriage rather than just fun copulation, there is an advantage in being religious. Churches and the social activities around churches are natural meeting places.

    As a non believer myself, and having many religious friends, my observation is not that they are less mature. However, it clear that the average RQ* among religious people is lower than the average among non believers.

    * RQ is rational quotient - the ability to see things as they really are, rather than through an emotional filter.
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    Thanks, one of the reasons I posted this idea was because the sample size of my own personal experience was obviously much too small to provide any significant data. However, it wasn't that they were less mature, it was that they matured more slowly. Churches may be natural meeting places, but is there really an advantage over other meeting places to finding a girl/boyfriend/potential spouse? I also doubt that young teenagers would become religious to find a marriage partner, also, the religious teachings to someone of this age would be different to that of someone who is older in regards to relationships.
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    No, young teenagers do not become religious to find a partner. There is, in fact, a disadvantage if you are female, in that more gals than guys get religion, and it cuts the choice of life partner. Doesn't help the guys much, unless they actually are after a wife, since the religious gals are less likely to play.
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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    i wonder if there could be a correlation with testosterone levels (for the guys, that is) ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR View Post
    i wonder if there could be a correlation with testosterone levels (for the guys, that is) ?
    Possibly, but would testosterone levels be increased by doing "mature" stuff like hanging around with your pals and drinking on the weekend?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR View Post
    i wonder if there could be a correlation with testosterone levels (for the guys, that is) ?
    Possibly, but would testosterone levels be increased by doing "mature" stuff like hanging around with your pals and drinking on the weekend?
    no, but as i said in an earlier post, cause and effect could well be the other way round : high levels of of testosterone could easily lead to hanging around with your pals and drinking on the weekend, and at the same time correlate with having less facial hair

    [edit]
    sorry, that should have been "correlate with more facial hair"
    [/edit]
    Last edited by marnixR; August 15th, 2011 at 02:28 PM.
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    During puberty, one of the hormones released is luteinizing hormone which stimulates the testes to produce testosterone, other ways of increasing testosterone are through sexual activites. It's easier to get girls when you're drinking as a result of increased confidence. In the example that I gave, in general, the non-christians had more sexual experiences than the christians who are taught to be abstinent from drink and sexual activites.
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