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  • Created by: Iveta
  • Created on: 11-03-14 10:20

Gender and Religion

There is research evidence to show that women are generally more religious than men...

1) Church Participation: Women attend more church than men so they are more religious i.e. in 2005, it was found that 60% of women attended the tradional established church compared to 47% of men

AO2: Davie claimed that men could just be 'believing but not belonging'- so they are religioun but practise religion in a PRIVATISED way

2) Beliefs in God: Opinion polls were created where they asked men and women how much they believed in God; they found that 84% of women claimed that they believed in God compared to 64% of men- women are more religious

AO2: The validity and reliability of these statistics can be questioned because women could just be lying or over exaggerating how much they believe in God- no way of checking this

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Reasons why women are more religious

Miller and Hoffman list a number of reasons why women attend more church and why they are more religious....

  • Women are more likely to be working-part-time or be unemployed compared to men, who are the breawinners. Therefore, they can have MORE TIME to attend church
  • Women with mothers attend church more because they see this as the extension of their mother role since they are the PRIMARY CARERS and they claim that it is important to socialise their children into religious beliefs
  • Men and women have different attitudes to God i.e. women associate him to love and forgiveness whereas men associate him with power and status. Since women are more PEOPLE-ORIENTATED this explains why they attend church more
  • Women are more likely to have been taught to be SUBMISSIVE and PASSIVE and these characteristics are the most compatible with religiosity and are HIGHLEY-ESTEEMED by most religions because they require followers to be passive
  • Davie claimed that women are LESS RISK-TAKERS than men so not going to church is seen as a risk-take
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AO2- women not attending church

However, Woodhead argued that since the Equal Pay Opportunities policy was introduced in the 1970s, a large number of women took up paid opportunities and this had affected their religious participation.

Many women became bery work-centered which meant that they had little time to attend church. Women also started to take up double and trible shifts, where they had to balance their paid and non-paid work, which meant that they could not fit in religion with their busy schedules

Home-centered women were those that viewed family time on Sundays as more important so they were also less likely to attend religion.

Aune further claimed that homosexual women are less likely to attend church because the church was critical of homosexuals and so women did not feel they belonged there

Women are having less children which means that the second generation is less likely to replace them and so the church attendance in general is in decline.

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Women- NRMs and New Age

Glock and Stark claimed that women New religious movements becuase they may be relatively deprived i.e. if they are Psychically Deprived they turn to Transcendental Mediation to help them live fulfilling lives and reduce anxiety levels
Organismically deprived, ethically deprived

AO2: However, Bruce claims that it is usually MIDDLE CLASS women that turn to NRMs, working class are more passive so prefer to attend church rather than take control of their lives
Women are NOT very committed to NRMs i.e. once they have received help they tend to live.
They are also not live-long members because TM requires too much commitment and they may not have much time, esp if they have children

New Age: Heelas found that a large majority of the women have turned to the New Age because they are LESS PATRIARCHAL and have BENEFITIAL effects.
Describe hollsitic milieu and what it involves

AO2: However, it only appeals to a MARGINAL number of women i.e. Heelas and Woodhead found that in their Kendap project, only 1 in 50 women found an appeal in New Age.
Willis also claimed that they were short lived because they offered their services like a busineses so they faced decline of customers and competiion in market place

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