I suspect some of you are thinking, yawn, we already talked about values. As someone who has taught comprehensive sex ed in a church, I want to note a couple of things. There is often an assumption in fiction that a character being religious is code for them being prudish, believing sex can only occur within the confines of marriage, and other various things. This is certainly true for some forms of religion. But it many ways this is like saying a character is from Texas so must therefore eat beef at every meal. There are definitely people who eat beef in Texas. There are also of course people who like chicken,, people who are vegetarian, people who think cows should not be eaten, and all other forms of people.
The same is true of religion. Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice has folks of most major and many smaller congregations who have provided religiously based support for people making the sexual and reproductive health decisions that make the most sense for them.
There are whole branches of religion that believe that sex can be an important part of being a spiritual being and that sexual decision can happen without and within formal binding relationships. Sex positivity is not confined to non-religious, a-religious, or lapsed religious people.
Am I really just trying to make everyone's writing hard? No, I swear I am not. But just like being from Texas isn't enough character work to build a whole character, being XYZ religion isn't an explanation in and of itself for anything about a character either.
The same applies to thoughts about gender, sexuality, and other things. There are congregations with a wide variety of thoughts on each of these things, and the things being said in the pulpit or platform vary widely too.
The podcast series “Preach” spoke to a number of people about the faiths they grew up with and if and how they approach them now. One of the guests provides sexual health and wellness expertise to woman who are often members of conservative Jewish sects.
The ways, times, and amount of information and access to information will certainly vary. But if one or more of your characters grew up with and/or participates in a religious community today, that is not a choice you can make about your character that doesn’t deserve the time and attention things like their age and profession got.