Washington: Not working after marriage? It may have something to do with the religious beliefs of the community you are living in.

Married women who live in communities with a higher proportion of the population belonging to conservative religious traditions are more likely to choose not to work outside the home, even if the women are not members of those faith groups, says a study.

While previous research has shown individual women’s religious beliefs affect career decisions, this study argues that the religious context of a geographic area also influences women’s solutions to work-family conflict.

“Communities come to have a feeling all their own, and that sense of what makes one community different than another comes from the collective beliefs, values and expectations of all members of that community,” said Aaron Franzen, a former sociology researcher at Baylor University in the US.

“On some level, this will influence people within the community even if they have not personally ‘bought into’ a belief,” he added.

For their analysis, researchers used data from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey for the years 2006-10.

The study appeared in the journal Religions.

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