A report from the National Research Council has found that non religious and religious culture are linked to levels of aggression, violence, and risk-taking behaviour.
Non religious culture is defined as being in a non religious household, church or temple, church-related activity, non-religious activities, or a non-profit organisation.
Religious culture is associated with a belief system, such as the Bible, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, or Buddhism, and is associated to religious practice, such in worship, pilgrimage, meditation, ritual, and religious learning.
The report also found that the more religious a household was, the greater the likelihood that a person was at risk of violence and violence-related offending.
Non-religious culture was not associated with violent or risk-related behaviour.
“Non-religious cultures were associated with higher levels of self-reported violence, aggression, and non-religious risk-attributable behaviour, but not with higher risk-associated offending,” the report said.
It said there was no evidence that non-related non-specific religiosity or non-routine religious practice were associated in any way with higher offending levels.
“Religiosity was not a factor in the relationship between religiosity and nonviolence, but religiosity was associated with lower rates of non-violent offending, compared to non-affiliated religious or nonreligious culture,” the study said.
“This finding suggests that religiosity may not be a sufficient or reliable predictor of violence.”
The report did find that nonreligious people are more likely to be members of religious organisations than other groups, but that religion and nonreligion were not associated in a significant way.
“The nonreligious and religious cultures were not related in a statistically significant way to levels or types of offending and the relationship was not statistically significant,” the research said.
The findings of the study, published in the journal Criminology, were released in collaboration with the Australian Institute of Criminological and Criminal Justice Studies.