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Traditionally, this has provided added incentive for Utah Mormons with marginal personal religiosity to remain in the church, and to follow church behavioral mandates.However, as Mormon majorities in Utah have declined, the salience of this religious subculture is waning.

We suggest that the mandate to serve a mission forces the hand of young men in Utah, and essentially “outs” those who don’t want to go as less committed to the church.

Being thusly “outed” then lowers the costs of, and provides a pathway for, eventual disaffection.

Associates at work, school, and in the community are also likely to be co-religionists in this setting.

This fuses church and community norms, and makes violating church standards subject to disapproval and sanction in non-church settings.

You also say this has an impact on people leaving the church. Phillips: We noticed that the widening of the sex ratio in Utah is accompanied by another, concomitant trend.

Beginning in about 1990, the percentage of Utah’s citizenry belonging to the LDS Church began to decline, and has continued to drop until stabilizing just recently.This is precisely the age when religiosity is at its nadir.In the past, social pressure to serve a mission prompted many young men in Utah with marginal religious commitment to bite the bullet and go.Are Utah’s rates of gender imbalance going to become more common elsewhere?And will the rate of people leaving Mormonism continue to rise?Mormonism is not immune from this trend, and defections from Mormonism are more common than they have been in the past.

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