Darwin explained that one.He thought women were intellectually inferior.
Great article, one I readily identify with as an ex-Christian woman.As to the original question, my smart aleck answer was simply "childbirth."
What do you think?I think that You should be ashamed of Yourself for linking to that tempting site full of sensual pics of all these gorgeous women, Mr.! -- signed, the Lascivious Lucian.
Hey Harry, (--calling Mr. McCall--)here's a very special dedication for You! ;-) Enjoy! :D
Two thoughts on the matter, perhaps unrelated.First: The article draws upon a lot of science to show that men and women develop differently, both physically and emotionally. One would presume that these observations hold true for all humans across the global. However, the only religion explicitly discussed is Christianity. For the authors ideas to ring a bell of truth for me, I think it would strengthen the author's position immensely to also show how genetics would affect the religous predispositions in other cultures and religions. Using American Christianity alone as an example doesn't satisfy my curiosity or intellect. The author paints religion in fairly broad strokes (e.g. "archaic system of beliefs that foster misogynistic behavior") that don't seem to apply to all expressions of religion for all time. Perhaps many, but not all.Second: A acquaintance of mine once reflected on the fact that women in America are far more likely to be churchgoing than men. I don't think he considered any genetic evidence for or against this, but he did point out that stereotypical American churches are not very "manly" inasmuch as there is just not much in the way of appeal for your typical sports-loving, video-game-playing guy. On the whole, I find American churches are fairly docile, lacking adventure, and boring places to me (also your typical sports-loving, video-game-playing male). I would be interested to know if this is the trend in other parts of the world and other cultures.
Shameless self-promoting proselytism.
I've heard (not sure about the percentages) that people who live in rural environments are more likely to be religious because they're closer to seeing the "miracles" of nature which are responsible for their sustenance, etc., and (Christians have speculated) have less opportunity to take their existences for granted (food just "is" in cities; and comes in these neat, colorful packages stacked in trucks) by being exposed to "man-centered" ways of looking at things.Maybe women tend to be affected in the same way, being closer to nature by virtue of generally having more responsibility for taking care of children.Most such people only believe in some sort of a nature god anyway, letting the prevailing religion serve as sort of a general template, as well as give names to a few things they already believe on their own, although they'll often swear that they believe every syllable of the Bible.Not one of them will say, "I want my child in Hell, if Jesus thinks it's for the best."
I'm reminded of As Good As It Gets, in one of my favorite scenes with Jack Nicholson as successful author Melvin Udall :receptionist Zoe : How do you write women so well?Melvin : I think of a man and take away reason and accountability.I don't agree, nor do I think women are inferior, just enjoyed the writing and the snark... :)
When you have to deal with us men every day in relationships, I UNDERSTAND COMPLETELY. =P
I have been trying to think of tactful ways to comment most of the day and it ain't gonna happen. This is all just so much baloney, okay? There have been plenty of religions made up entirely by men that didn't even allow women to participate. Across cultures and through time there is much variety in which gender participated in a particular religion and if both did, how much equality there was in that participation and how much equality there was in the fervor of the belief by gender. Each was pretty much a reflection of some aspect of the culture in the place and at the time. Women are traditionally more into religion in America because it is a dress-up party, for one thing. Another reason relates to the same reason women are not as well represented in math and science: Because it was not socially acceptable for women to think critically so they were not taught to think critically. The nonsense about closer to nature is . . . nonsense. In a rural community, the man is out on the tractor in nature seeing the beauty and the power of it every day - maybe that is part of why he doesn't need to express anything about it in an artificial environement on Sunday if he believes in a god, but it is nothing to do with gender any more than the fact that there are more men driving tractors still today. It is a product of culture and not instinct or biology or evolution.
It's been established that men comprise more of the extremely intelligent and extremely unintelligent regions of the spectrum. It's also been established that intelligent people are less likely to be religious. There would therefore be more men crowded into the region that would be more likely to leave. This may not explain it all, but it definitely explains some of it.
It is strange how women are more religious, considering that:1. Women are regarded as inferior in pretty much any and every respect to men in most religious texts, and are treated as such. 2. Religious texts basically designate men as the rulers of the world, and as such, you'd think men would be more inclined to be drawn to it.I have noticed that women are less "fundie" about it though. Note that women tend to vote in favor of things like abortion and gay marriage, which are both strongly opposed by most religions.
I think most all of this can be explained in terms of need for security. Those feeling most vulnerable--least secure--are more apt to go looking for some kind of equalizer. The ultimate protector is deity.
Alright, if it's not true (and never was, even in the days before tractors) that rural people tend to be more religious, then any explanation based on that would of course be nonsense.But if it is - what else would account for that, other than what I've heard pointed out?Before people had alternate explanations for nature, it does seem plausible that the more "miracles" they were confronted with, and the fewer opportunities for interacting with people who thought differently, the more likely it was that they believed.
But if it is - what else would account for that, other than what I've heard pointed out?The fact that in rural areas, the church tends to be the only social club available, while in urban centers there is a wide variety of secular social options to take advantage of.
I was asking rhetorically; that was part of what I was thinking, and might indeed explain it all.But I still think the "closer to nature" angle explains some of it.Rain and drought, thunder, the zodiac, etc. were seen by many as the handiwork of the gods, so the more directly dependent on nature you were, the more you might believe it all meant something. It's sad to imagine how some used to flagellate themselves until their blood ran, in the belief that, if they punished themselves in that way, God would be more lenient with the weather.Even today, Christians often point to beautiful sunsets and say things like, "don't you think there's something behind that."
I did not get to read the article (I am at work, security policy), but I do remember reading an article a few weeks ago (I think in the economist), and I remember it saying something about research accross cultures(not just US christianity), women were more devout. Of course, men tended to extremism or doubt. I believe there was a connection with biology and relationships. Women tend to be attracted to older (wiser) men, whereas men are attracted to younger, more fertile, women. Women also tend to desire stable community relationships, whereas men desire smaller, more active groups of close friends.The connection for religion is fairly obvious, and I agree with the article here, the ultimate older, wiser man, is God. Plus, the church setting is very desirable for women. Men, of course with smaller group desire, would lean towards extremism, when you factor in testoterone, I feel like the religion of Islam (currently) is self-explained.BTW, John, I love your book.
Feel free to tell me the author and title of that article, when you find it out again. I'd like to be better informed about that older men/younger women thing. (For purely academic reasons.)
jason, i doubt that intelligence clustering and would appreciate a data link.
I think the 'near to nature' has it backward. Every kind of good(s) showing up at convenient supply depots seems a lot more magical than a plant growing out of the ground or killing an animal then stuffing it into packets. But really, this is all just-so-stories type nonsense. Rural communities in say, Denmark and Germany (where I live or have friends) are common but belief in god is not.. and any comparison to small/agrarian US towns would show total diversion.
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