Gender Differences in Religious Belief

1817 Words Mar 8th, 2013 8 Pages
Critically examine the relationship between gender, religious participation and religious organisation
Studies of religious belief verify consistently that the female gender shows greater participation to religion than that of males. This greater commitment to religion described by sociologists such as Bensen applies throughout the course of the woman’s life, and as noted by Glock and Stark, their greater pledge to religion is consistent regardless of the religious organization, whether it be New Religious movements, New Age spirituality, or traditional faiths. Beit-hallahmy and Argyle state that whether it is a matter of private churchgoing or private prayer and regardless of religious belief women appear more religious than men.
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They are more likely to experience status frustration, born from the constraints of housework and childcare or the unsatisfying lower middle class jobs which are mainly done by women. Religious participation can reinstate identity and give women focus, because where men gain individuality through work, women revive their low sense of worth through religion. Religious faith and practice can enhance psychological well-being by being a source of comfort to women in times of distress and by enhancing their social interaction with others in places of worship.
More responsive and sensitive personality traits in a woman mean they are more likely to contemplate emotional wellbeing and not only seek solace in religion bit find meaning and purpose in life. Personality was be attested as a key factor by Thompson, who found that men who possess those qualities more commonly found in women, such as sensitivity , were similarly more likely to be religious. Reasons other than oppression that lead a higher percentage of women to respond to their environment and pursue happiness through religion are the increased levels of poverty they experience. Official figures show women are 14% more likely than men to live in households with incomes that are 60% below the national average. More frequently diagnosed mental illness and depression in women can explain their higher contribution to religion, as cults, sects
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