Evaluate Sociological Explanation of the Relationship Between Gender and Religious Beliefs and Practice. (33marks)

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Evaluate sociological explanation of the relationship between gender and religious beliefs and practice. (33marks) Within religion, there are clear gender differences. In some regions, women aren’t to show any parts of their bare skin and are most certainly not allowed to become figures of religious authority, whereas in other religions, women are able to dress as they please and progress to one day become figures of religious authority. This difference in religion is also apparent in religious beliefs and religious participation. With regards to religious activity, and beliefs in God, sin, evil and life after death, generally speaking, more women than men participate in such activities. For example, in 2005 it was found that 1.8million women in England were churchgoers, whereas only 1.36million men were. Miller and Hoffman support this by finding that women express a greater interest in religion, have stronger personal commitment to it and attend church more, and this applies to all ages, religious organisations and faiths. Bruce estimates that there are twice as many women than men involved in sects. Some sociologists have seen this difference in religious activity and beliefs as being connected to the different ways of which men and women see God – the god of love and forgiveness or the God of power and control. Sociologists have put forward several explanations for the gender differences in religious beliefs and practices, but most tend to focus on the reason for women’s relatively high level of participation and men’s low levels. Miller and Hoffman state that women are more religious because they are socialised to be more passive, obedience and caring – qualities that are valued by most religions, and it’s claimed that this is the reason why women are more likely to be attracted to religion then men. Men who are seen to have these qualities are also more likely to be religious, so perhaps it is not so much about the gender, and it is the way of which you...
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