Women are more likely to attend church, and more likely to say they belong to a church, therefore their religiosity emphasises commitment and membership (Jacklin 1970’s) however this point was criticised by early feminist who believe women also have a strong religious belief and its absurd to say their religiosity only extents to commitment and membership, these factors exist as they are trying to set a good example for their family through providing another form of secondary socialisation.
Another reason for women’s more involvement in religion is due to a concept introduced by Miller and Hoffman who claim that because of differential socialisation, girls being socialised to be passive and to act more traditional and conservative, therefore their more religious. Due to things such as gendered language and subjects at schools e. g. child care women are warmed into the traditional nuclear family ideologies and acting as mechanism of Parsons ‘warm bath’ theory taking on the expressive role.
Another reason is a biological reason due to male’s higher testosterone levels religion doesn’t provide them with satisfactory answers during times when they require salvation e. g. absolute poverty therefore their more likely to take a pro-active approach such as crime. A second reason mentioned by Miller and Hoffman id differential roles and that’s the fact women have different positions to men in society, women in paid work are given a ‘second-class status’ even after the women’s liberation movements in the 1970’s, prejudice is still strong within rationalised culture of paid work e.
g. women cant exceed their glass ceiling therefore all the high powered jobs are male occupied. Due to this females are discriminated against in a socially desirable manner as they are again given the traditional family roles e. g. women get a 9 month maternity leave compared to men who get 2 weeks; women through stereotypical views are given the expressive role involving the private sphere. However these points have been criticised as the economy over the past years has become increasingly more feminised just like other aspects of society and the superstructure e.
g. education, these have been refereed to as the ‘gender-quake’. Neo-Marxist Zertsky would argue that women are acting as part of the safety-valve in order for the exploitation of the subject-class to continue, this is way capitalist society controlled by the oppressor has enforced such ruling-class ideologies into peoples lives. Another reason for women’s more involvement in religion is due to primary socialisation, role models.
They were probably raised by a mother who placed emphasis on religion, due to feeling marginalised and going through a ‘crisis of life’ as they were in a time of uncertainty (not knowing how to raise their chills) therefore through the theodicy’s of religion which acted as a tonic of self-confidence for them they were given a guide. Another fact to consider is that women simply live longer then men, therefore during times of loneliness they turn to religion as it provides them with a sense of community, and those who migrate to other countries religion allows cultural transition (Bruce).
Marxist feminist Beauvoir recognises the unjust situation of women in society and argues they are being ‘doubly-exploited’. Beauvoir believes that religion provides a theodicy of dispirivelege for women; providing them with a sacred canopy and acting as a bulwark against anomie (Berger) is a postmodern society. Stark and Bainbridge argue due to the compensation that religion provides, exchange theory, women feel more secure about life on earth as they defer their gratification.