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This study characterizes social insularity of religiously conservative American married couples by examining patterns of voluntary associationmembership. Constructing a dataset of 3938 marital dyads from the second wave of the National Survey of Families and Households, the author investigates whether conservative religious homogamy encourages membership in religious voluntary groups and discourages membership in secular voluntary groups. Results indicate that couples’ shared affiliation with conservative denominations, paired with beliefs in biblical authority and inerrancy, increases the likelihood of religious group membership for husbands and wives and reduces the likelihood of secular group membership for wives, but not for husbands. The social insularity of conservative religious groups appears to be reinforced by homogamy—particularly by wives who share faith with husbands.


Originally published in Review of Religious Research, December 2014, Volume 56, Issue 4, pp 555–580.