Sociologists related to the work of Miller and Hoffman and, related to the question as to whether women are more religious than men are: Simone De Beauvoir she believed that religion was exploitive and oppressive towards women. She believed religion promoted the idea that if women suffered their reward would be gained in heaven. This is a contextual piece of evidence towards my work because if women have this mindset of a reward in heaven it is likely for them to attend church. Research by Edward and Elizabeth Nelson suggest that 21% of males attend church in contrast to 30% of females this measured regular attendance.
Research also shows that in terms of attending church ‘sometimes’ the percentage for women was 24% in contrast to 20% with males. Lastly the percentages for attending church ‘seldom’ with males and females were 46% for females and 59% for males. This relates to my wok as attendance determines whether someone can be said to be religious. Furthermore Joan Arehart-Treichel has found that in 49 countries women are more likely to be religious and in terms of males the numbers are and with the exception of only one case-Brazil-the differences are significant or highly significant statistically.
Secondly a piece of contextual evidence towards the view of women is that women see God as loving and caring and men view God as controlling and dominant. Patriarchal ideals for different religions (eg Christianity) led to the view of women as not being liable to lead the church. Orthodox churches and Roman Catholic churches exclude women from hierarchy. In 1992 the Church of England issued a law to allow women to join hierarchy of the church with many churches protesting. Additionally Mary Daly found that Christianity can be viewed as a patriarchal myth. Stories of the bible exclude women from becoming great role models, e.
g. Moses. There is no woman as powerful or influential as him in the bible. This is significant to my work because the view of women in religion affects the religiosity. This gives an explanation to why women are more religious than men. Fifthly Greely suggested that before women acquired a partner and having children their religiosity was not dissimilar to men’s, (although they were slightly more committed to religion). When you start taking care of people you begin to accept more responsibility. Women are more involved with caring than with patriarchal responsibilities.
Caring seems to be associated more with a religious outlook. This is related to work as it suggests religiosity and the explanations as to why women are more religious. Sixthly it is believed by sociologists that women are taught to be more submissive, passive, obedient and nurturing than males. These traits are compatible with religiosity as these are highly honoured by all religions. Also men who express these norms tend to be more religious than men who don’t. Females who have lower rates of participation in the church believe women who do more church related activities have higher rates of commitment and personal identity.
This is related to religiosity as it coincides with well being and thoughts of church from the female point of view. Concerning new religious movements Bruce 1995 suggested that the ratio of female involvement in establishments of NRM’s was about 2:1. Thompson noted that women were more likely to experience poverty in comparison to men and those who are more likely to join religious sects. For example some cult offers rewards for offering more money to the group, the more a member gives away his money; the greater is the reward from God.
Moreover Concerning new age movements historically nature has been perceived the role of women is seen through their femininity. That is, as being naturally different creatures to males more attuned to the natural rhythms of life. Philosophies of the new age cults believe women tend to be afforded a higher status than men. This explains the reason why women tend to be more involved in religious movements. Likewise in fundamentalism the revival of this in the past decade has played a major role in attempting to reverse the trends of women’s increasing sovereignty, and their pursuit of fulfilment towards motherhood.
In America opposition to women controlling their fertility through abortion has lead to violence with religious fundamentalist pro- life groups. With this information on various religious establishment from views on fundamentalism, NAM’s and NRM’s. These are important to my research as religiosity in any religion is an issue, and has difficulty in being measured. The view of females in all of these will lead to whether women are more religious than men.