New light has recently been shed on the influence of fundamentalist Protestant orientations on educational attainment; such reexamination has revived debates over the material consequences of culture. In this paper, Darren Sherkat and Alfred Darnell consider the effect of parents' fundamentalist orientation on their childrens' educational attainment. Using data from the Youth Parent Socialization Panel Study, Sherket and Darnell divide the sample to show how the influence of parents' fundamentalism varies by gener of the child and by the youth's fundamentalism. They find that fundamentalist parents hinder the educational attainment of their nonfundamentalist children, and also that such parents are more supportive of male fundamentalist children's education that are non–fundamentalist parents.
After the debates that raged during the 1960s and 1970s, sociologists lost interest in studying the material consequences of religious orientations. In this article, Alfred Darnell and Darren Sherkat use insider documents from conservative Protestant communities to reopen this issue. They begin by examining how fundamentalist Protestant cultural orientations discourage educational pursuits. Employing data from the Youth Parent Socialization Panel Study, they demonstrate that fundamentalist beliefs and conservate Protestant affiliation both have significant and substantial negative influences on educational attainment above and beyond social background factors.