Is Christianity more appealing to women than to men

I am wondering this question myself because recently, I had come across an article called “The Feminization of Christianity”, which spoke in great lengths about the emerging feminization of Christianity during the Middle Ages with the growth of bridal mysticism, developing and coming to the fore during the Industrial Revolution. I was intrigued, as there is quite the disparity between men and women in the congregation. Why is it that men are in such short supply compared to women in Catholicism, or Christianity in general, as this article claims?

Please discuss.

To put it in simplistic generalizations, women have a focus on relationships and men have a focus on things. In general the Church has shifted away from things (sacramentals, traditional hymns and practices, staunch doctrine) and toward relationships (inclusiveness, social justice, etc.). This meets the needs of the women more than it does the men. Frankly if the Church at large would be what it is it would seem to be more cool and gain more male following.

Disclaimer: yes, not every individual will fall into these general categories. But we’re talking about generalities, and in general these things tend to be true.

Men gravitate toward a lot of symbolism, rituals, sacraments , grandeur or worship. We also gravitate more toward the apologetic portion of the faith rather than the experiential.

Men also tend to dislike absolute authority unless there is good trust and respect

While I did not make a thorough study of it, I looked for data and found at least one article which says the “gender gap” among active Catholics has narrowed or even closed up.

The bad news is that it has narrowed because participation of women has declined, while the participation of men, though lower in past decades, has held steady.
Huffington Post: U.S. Catholic Women at Crossroads as Gender Gap Disappears: Will Pope Francis Make a Difference?

… But the milestone findings they present from five studies as part of the American Catholic Laity Project, a national survey taken every six years since 1987, suggests this is no longer true.

Consider the rapid declines in commitment among women, while men’s level of commitment remained fairly steady:

• In 1987, women were almost 50 percent more likely to attend weekly Mass, with 52 percent of women and 35 percent of men attending regularly. In the 2011 survey, less than a third of Catholic women, the same proportion as men, reported attending weekly Mass.

• In 1987, 58 percent of women, compared to 39 percent of men, said the Catholic Church was among the most important parts of their lives. By 1993, the percentage dropped to 49 percent for women and 37 percent for men. In 2011, just 35 percent of women and men ranked the church as one of the most important parts of their lives.

• The percentage of women who said they would never leave the Catholic Church declined from 61 percent in 1987 to 55 percent in 2011, while the percentage of men claiming such loyalty rose from 50 percent in 1987 to 56 percent in 2011.

I hesitate to make any generalizations, but I think we should try to understand the changes which are taking place.

I have wondered about this but on a more personal note…
Would men find it harder to love Jesus because that would be man loving a man? Does that make sense? When do men decide it’s ok and not odd to love a man named Jesus???

I had no trouble loving Jesus because I’m a girl. Is it different for men?

Thank you! Yes, it is different. I visited a pentecostal church once, at the invitation of a friend. When the preacher started talking about having a “personal relationship with Jesus Christ” I was creeped out. I don’t want a relationship with another man.

Women have always been better at religion. They are, naturally, more spiritually inclined. Perhaps it has something to do with humility, and relating to men being mapped onto relating with God… it’s about needs, dependence, etc.

Notice, for instance, the women of the Gospels… They are faithful, pious, humble… The men run away and argue about who’s the best.

If I’m perfectly honest with you, I feel that the more distant God is, as He does appear in the Judaic and Islamic traditions, the more natural it feels. I feel there has been an over-emphasis on personalising God through the concept of a ‘personal relationship with Christ’. While I do not want to sway into generalisations here, I believe that men prefer a more distant, impersonal version of God as opposed to an intimate one, reflecting on it myself.

I disagree. In fact, I believe God disagrees too! :smiley: Men (as much as women) want a personal God. One that makes our life worthwhile and important. We already experimented with an impersonal God (Deism) and it was found to be empty and unsatisfactory to men.

Men very much want and seek out personal relationships with other men; most notably their father. However brothers and good friends are also important. Men may be less able to extend their “network” with as much ease and facility as women (in our current society) but that doesn’t mean it is any less valuable or non-existent.

I believe men can have a very healthy relationship with Jesus as father/brother/friend, in a way that no earthly one can replicate. Jesus is perfect, humble and meek. He gave everything he had --his life, for us (men as well as women.) How can men not respond to that? :confused:

A relationship in the sense of a friend- or brother relationship sounds much better. The preacher I met in the pentecostal church talked about a relationship with Christ in a way that creeped me out. But perhaps that’s peculiar to the pentecostal church. I’ve noticed those churches have a much more emotional form of worship than other churches.

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