The final chapter reviews the evidence that is presented throughout the book and discusses its implications for current conversations regarding female ordination in American congregations as well as wider societal forces at play. It also assesses the evidence in light of previous research on female ordination—finding, for example, empirical support for the idea that politics can drive religious behavior, and empirical disconfirmation of the notion that having female clergy will reduce religious attendance and involvement. In fact, levels of attendance and other religious behaviors are slightly higher in congregations that ordain women and moderately higher for younger women in congregations with a female pastor or priest. The chapter concludes by offering some thoughts on the issue of women’s ordination to religious congregational leaders and decision-makers who control access to leadership positions.
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