Gender and Religiosity

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  • Gender and Religiosity
    • Introduction
      • Different social classes tend to be attracted to different movements (for example, lower classes with world-rejecting sects). However, gender is also a very important factor.
    • More women are religious than men
      • Evidence: In 2005, 1.8 million women were churchgoers as opposed to 1.36 million.
    • Bruce: Estimates twice as many women than men are involved in sects.
      • Evidence: Heelas and Woodhead: 80% of the holistic milieu in Kendal were female.
    • Socialisation and the gender role
      • Miller and Hoffman: Women are more religious than men because they are socialised to have characteristics valued by most religions (obedient/caring)
      • Davie: Women's closer proximity to birth and death brings them closer to "ultimate" questions about life that religion is concerned with.
    • Women and the New Age
      • As women are often associated with a  healing role, they are more attracted to New Age movements than men.
      • Bruce: Women fit the expressive emphasis of the New Age because child-rearing makes them more cooperative/caring.
    • Compensation for deprivation
      • Glock and Stark: Women are more likely to be deprived.
      • Types of deprivation
        • Organismic deprivation: Women are more likely to suffer from ill health and to seek healing
        • Ethical deprivation: Women are more likely to be morally conservative and be attracted to the conservatism of some sects.


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