The reasons for female religiosity

Why are women – historically as well as today – on average more religious than men, even though they are mostly excluded from leadership positions? In their new book entitled Why Are Women More Religious Than Men?, two sociologists from the University of Aberdeen, Marta Trzebiatowska and Steve Bruce explore this question through a sociological lens.

Listen to a podcast with one of the authors, Dr Marta Trzebiatowska.

Read Emma Smith’s review on the LSE Politics and Policy blog.

Read Matthew Reisz’s review in the Times Hither Education supplement.

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3 replies »

  1. Strangely, the authors don’t seem to have considered the hypothesis that religious practice legitimizes domination, and that women tend to need this legitimation more than men because they are generally more dominated.

  2. Benjamin,
    I’m not sure I understand your argument… could you explain what you mean when you say that women tend need legitimation more than men? That it is more of a problem for women?

  3. Since you’ve tweeted this post again, I’ll answer your question, which I never got around to answering. I was thinking of Bourdieu’s idea that social relations of domination depend partly on the complicity of the dominated. Through “symbolic violence”, domination and exploitation are “misrecognised” (by both the dominant and the dominated) as the fulfillment of legitimate principles. He also argued that one of the main social functions of religion is to facilitate this misrecognition. It follows that the more dominated you are, the more misrecognition you need in order to accept your position. Since women tend to be more dominated than men, you would expect them to need more religion in order to accept their situation, other things being equal.

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