Contemporary Approaches to Gender and Religion

  • Jennifer McMorris
  • Jennifer GlassEmail author
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)


Religious messages, mores, and laws profoundly shape the gendered lives of men and women. Religious engagement has been found to influence sexual practices, family formation, workforce engagement, and a host of other life domains. The influence of institutional religion on these elements of lived experiences is often treated as detrimental to women and religious institutions regarded as inherently patriarchal. However, women are often substantially more engaged in religious institutions and invested in religious identities than men. In this chapter we begin by reviewing theories explaining women’s high rates of religious engagement and belief. We then evaluate common religious ideologies about gendered behaviors and examine the effects of such ideologies on the political, societal, economic, and familial experiences of men and women. We conclude by summarizing the state of current research into the intersection of religion and gender and providing recommendations for future approaches.


Religion Gender Fundamentalism Sexuality 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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