Gender, feminism and religion

Essay by naughtygal November 2004

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Gender, feminism and religion

A) Identify and explain two reasons why church attenders are predominately female? (8 marks)

1) Females have lower rate of participation in paid work and this, it is argued gives women more time for church related activities, and more need for a source of personal identity and commitment. with a lot of free time on their hands it is likely they will attend church more.

2) Women are more religious than men and they are more likely to express a greater interest in religion, and have stronger personal interests which mean they may attend church more to show their commitment to their religion.

B) Examine the extent to which religion acts as an agent of social control over women. (12 marks)

Religion acts as an agent of social control over women as in the holy books such as the bible and Qur'an it says men are in charge of women.

Even though there are many female characters in the biblical texts and some are portrayed as acting charitably or bravely, but the prime parts are reserved for males, there is no female equivalent to Moses for example, and in the New Testament all the apostles are men. The most prominent females in the Bible, Eve and Mary mother of Jesus, serve to reinforce patriarchal ideas regarding the dangers of female sexuality and the virtues of motherhood. Buddhism is also dominated by a patriarchal power structure in which the feminine is mainly associated with the secular, powerless, profane and imperfect. This may act as an agent of social control over women because some men might believe they have the right to control their wife and tell her what she can and can't do, as they may see it from a religious point of view and believe...