Decline in religious belief among women?


#1

This article says that religious belief is declining among women in particular, who, according to the article and from what I have heard many times before, are generally more religious than men.

Does anyone notice this trend? Why do you think women would become less religious nowadays at a faster rate than men?


#2

Because all that Christian churches seem to talk about is abortion?

:hmmm:

Because most of the people being laid off over the past 10 years are men, so that women become the family provider as well as the family care-giver, yet many churches believe that women should be subservient to men?

:hmmm: :hmmm:


#3

[quote="Tomcmaj, post:2, topic:252685"]
Because all that Christian churches seem to talk about is abortion?

:hmmm:

[/quote]

Well it IS murder. :sad_yes:


#4

[quote="followingtheway, post:3, topic:252685"]
Well it IS murder. :sad_yes:

[/quote]

I'm not debating that.

My point is that many churches seem to obsess over it to the exclusion of other things, like helping the poor, etc.

Also, as women become the sole breadwinners in many families, their positions on abortion may change.


#5

[quote="Tomcmaj, post:4, topic:252685"]
I'm not debating that.

My point is that many churches seem to obsess over it to the exclusion of other things, like helping the poor, etc.

Also, as women become the sole breadwinners in many families, their positions on abortion may change.

[/quote]

:confused: Bringing in an income justifies breaking a Commandment???

BTW - it's perfectly fine for women to be working to support their families... :blush:


#6

[quote="Tomcmaj, post:4, topic:252685"]
I'm not debating that.

My point is that many churches seem to obsess over it to the exclusion of other things, like helping the poor, etc.

Also, as women become the sole breadwinners in many families, their positions on abortion may change.

[/quote]

The Church does help the poor, but abortion is a huge deal, it is at the very root of any human rights. I like these quotes:
Bishop Elio Sgreccia, Vice-President of the Pontifical Academy for Life,
said the following in an interview conducted in May, 2004: *"

Without respect for life, without respect for the family, society simply does not exist…all [other] rights presuppose the right to life. If the right to life is not defended, the defense of all these other rights is useless. It becomes a lie, because it would mean that the defense to the right to work, to society, etc. applies only to some, and not to all."

***Cardinal Renato Martino, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace,
**said the following in an interview conducted in May, 2004: *"

The Holy Father speaks of the protection of life as the fundamental realization and respect for human rights. Without that realization, without that respect for the right to life, no other discussion of human rights can continue; it must be based upon the foundation of human dignity and the right to life."

*


#7

[quote="felmus, post:1, topic:252685"]
This article says that religious belief is declining among women in particular, who, according to the article and from what I have heard many times before, are generally more religious than men.

Does anyone notice this trend? Why do you think women would become less religious nowadays at a faster rate than men?

[/quote]

I have my own theories on the subject, but if true this is a startling trend.

A lot of religions (perhaps even most of the dominant religions in the world) seem to have taken the loyalty of their female worshippers (especially girls born into the faith) for granted for a very long time.

Men had to be won over/wooed to a certain extent (perhaps because it was so much easier for them to simply leave if they were unhappy) but women could simply be commanded, ignored, etc.

Unfortunately there are so many places where the faith (or lack thereof) of women is almost a non-issue.

For instance, if every woman in Saudi Arabia lost faith in Islam tomorrow, would that have any effect on how the country is governed and run considering how little influence, power, or respect women in that country have?:(


#8

I should certainly hope that they obsess over it. If someone were to legitimately believe millions of people were being murdered every year and they weren’t extremely concerned about this I think I would be more than a little disturbed.

Anyways, I suspect that the reason religious belief in women is declining for the same reason religious belief has declined among men: the pull of contemporary society is just too strong. The real question here isn’t that religious belief is declining among women but why religious belief is more prevalent in women at all.


#9

I don’t think it is the Church’s neglect of women. Most of the Churches I have attended in the last 10 years have been very supportive and welcoming to the women because they know their families will follow them.

I think it is a culture thing. Religion isn’t as important in our culture anymore and with all the other demands on a woman’s time…religion just falls to the wayside. I think most women think “Oh yeah, we need to attend Church more.” but then they do the laundry, clean house, take the kids to ball games.

Once the habit is gone it is that much harder to get the husband and the kids to start going again.

How do we fix it? No idea.


#10

It seems to be that this would make sense if there was a decline in belief in general. Based on all those other threads/stats arguing that women are the main drivers for keeping the faith and attending church, there aren't a whole lot of men left to lose belief. The men remaining are probably resolute.

With so many more women being religious, just a couple of points dropping would seem enormous compared to whatever number of men dropped out.


#11

[quote="Mungling, post:8, topic:252685"]
The real question here isn't that religious belief is declining among women but why religious belief is more prevalent in women at all.

[/quote]

Probably because we worry more! :)


#12

[quote="Mungling, post:8, topic:252685"]
I should certainly hope that they obsess over it. If someone were to legitimately believe millions of people were being murdered every year and they weren't extremely concerned about this I think I would be more than a little disturbed.

Anyways, I suspect that the reason religious belief in women is declining for the same reason religious belief has declined among men: the pull of contemporary society is just too strong. The real question here isn't that religious belief is declining among women but why religious belief is more prevalent in women at all.

[/quote]

Assuming this trend is real I think one of the factors is rising expectations (regarding the earthly material world) among women.

Living in the modern West we tend to forget just how poor, miserable, and frequently short the lives of our ancestors were. And how poor, miserable, and short life remains for people in many other parts of the world.

Religion (or at least certain religions) thrives on misery because when people lose hope in their earthly lives their likely to fantasize about/emotionally invest in some sort of afterlife.

And women have frequently had it worse than men.

Any quick study of history will show that women have often (so often that it might even be the norm) been treated unfairly and unjustly (compared to men) by the culture they live in, their society, and the laws they live under.

Frankly the earthly realm had less to offer (or at least had fewer attractions for) such women. Its only natural that the promise of a wonderful afterlife would have more of a pull for women.

But Western women are (generally) well-fed, relatively affluent, and living much longer than their grandmothers and great-grandmothers. As well as being treated like equals by their male peers.

Moreover, the West has been relatively successful at exporting/promoting the ideas behind these improved conditions for women.

Improving conditions in the real world means that the attraction of great afterlife suddenly becomes a lot less powerful.

In other words, many women think that they can achieve happiness in this life, rather than having to wait for a wonderful afterlife (as their females ancestors did).


#13

This line from the posted article made me think of another related reason:

“Women used to put men to shame in terms of their orthodoxy of belief and the breadth and consistency of their religious behavior,” wrote Barna. “No more ? the religious gender gap has substantially closed.” (RNS)

Just as women have often been stereotyped as soft/weak they have often been protrayed as irrational/emotional.

Many people have said that if a woman doesn’t want to be thought of as weak in a pro-dominently male environment she needs to be/appear tougher than any of the guys.
A great number of women in formerly male only fields have expressed sentiments along those lines as well.

So I am guessing alot of women feel that they can’t appear/be too religious, otherwise they will be dismissed as an ‘irrational female.’ Especially if they work in an intellectual field.


#14

I suppose everybody who's practicing Catholic and single is feeling like there's a decline in the numbers of available folks of the opposite sex that are on the same page.


#15

I don't know if what this report may show about Catholic women in particular is significant to you, or if you are more interested in what it shows about the general landscape of all denominations. However, when it come to the first...
I saw this report before and dismissed it when it comes to Catholic women in particular. It is a report on women of all denominations. There is no information specially about Catholic women or even any indication whether Catholic women were surveyed. Furthermore, Catholics are in many ways different from Protestants. This can be the case in this instance particularly if liberal Protestants were a significant proportion of those surveyed.
Accordingly, I do not see this as a reliable guide to state of religious convictions of Catholic women.


#16

[quote="Tomcmaj, post:4, topic:252685"]
I'm not debating that.

My point is that many churches seem to obsess over it to the exclusion of other things, like helping the poor, etc.

Also, as women become the sole breadwinners in many families, their positions on abortion may change.

[/quote]

The Catholic Church is one of the top three giving charities for the poor in the world!

From Wikpedia, An estimated 42 MILLION babies are aborted in the world EACH YEAR!


#17

[quote="felmus, post:1, topic:252685"]
This article says that religious belief is declining among women in particular, who, according to the article and from what I have heard many times before, are generally more religious than men.

Does anyone notice this trend? Why do you think women would become less religious nowadays at a faster rate than men?

[/quote]

Well, I don't know for sure why but I think that younger people today have been taught in school that religion is not what is really important. There seems to be more emphasis put on caring and kindness for others without God, who gave us this commandment. Generally speaking women seem to be naturally drawn to helping and caring for others more than men.

Another reason might be that some of these young women were brought up by feminist mothers raised in the late 60's and 70's who wanted nothing to do with religion.


#18

[quote="onmyknees, post:16, topic:252685"]
The Catholic Church is one of the top three giving charities for the poor in the world!

[/quote]

That's two places short of where is should be.


#19

I said ONE of the top three and I have heard that it is first and second too. What about all the other organizations? Why don't you want to thank the Catholic charities instead of saying what you did?


#20

[quote="followingtheway, post:3, topic:252685"]
Well it IS murder. :sad_yes:

[/quote]

And genicide!


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