Gender and Religion

In the UK, women outnumberw men in church attendance in the ratio 2:1 and with the growth of NRM's, the same ratio applies. This raises the question as to whether women are more 'religious' than men, and if so, why?

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Gender and Religion

Davie: women and men see God differently

For women: a god of love, comfort and forgiveness

For men: a god of power and control.

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Why are women more religious?

Miller and Hoffman:

Women are more interested in religion

Women have stronger commitment

Women attend church more


Women become more religious after marriage and child bearing

He see's a link between caring for others and having a religious outlook

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Miller and Hoffman

Differential Association
Females are taught to be more submissive, passive and obediant. Therefore, they are more likely to be a willing follower of a particular religion.

Differential Roles
Females work less paid work than men, women have more time for church activities, women have a great need for personal identity whereas men get this from work. The caring role of mother makes them more sympathetic to religious views.

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Women and New Religious Movements


Thompson: Economic Deprivation
Women are more likely to experience poverty. Sects often give hope and practical help to such.

Glock and Stark: Other types of Deprivation

Social Deprivation: lack of status and power leads a person to search for for this within Sects. Women often feel a low sense of worth as society doesn't value their roles as a spouse and mother. 

Organismic Deprivation: those who suffer physical and mental problems find healing through the form of Sects.

Ethical Deprivation: by seeing moral decline, people are attracted by groups who want to live in a different way

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New Age Movements

Many are highly privatised and individualistic types of religious activities.

Women are more likely to want to improve themselves and see cults as a way forward.

Many promote that the qualities of nature and women are often given higher status than men in such beliefs e.g. mother nature philosophies.

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