Advertisement

Contemporary Approaches to Gender and Religion

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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Religion Gender Fundamentalism Sexuality 

References

  1. Adler, G. (2012). An opening in the congregational closet? Boundary-bridging culture and membership privileges for gays and lesbians in Christian religious congregations. Social Problems, 59(2), 177–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Almond, G. A., Scott Appleby, R., & Sivan, E. (2003). Strong religion: The rise of fundamentalisms around the world. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  3. Anderson, J. D. (1997). The lesbian and gay liberation movement in the Presbyterian Church (USA), 1974–1996. Journal of Homosexuality, 34(2), 37–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Awwad, A. M. (2001). Gossip, scandal, shame and honor killing: A case for social constructionism and hegemonic discourse. Social Thought and Research, 24(1/2), 39–52.Google Scholar
  5. Barton, B. (2010). “Abomination”—Life as a Bible belt gay. Journal of Homosexuality, 57(4), 465–484.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bartkowski, J. P. (1999). One step forward, one step back: “Progressive traditionalism” and the negotiation of domestic labor in evangelical families. Gender Issues, 17(4), 37–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bahr, H. M. (1970). Aging and religious disaffiliation. Social Forces, 49, 59–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Becker, P. E., & Hofmeister, H. (2001). Work, family, and religious involvement for men and women. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 40(4), 707–722.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bradshaw, Matt, & Ellison, C. G. (2009). The nature-nurture debate is over, and both sides lost! Implications for understanding gender differences in religiosity. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 48(2), 241–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brooks, C. (2002). Religious influence and the politics of family decline concern: Trends, sources, and US political behavior. American Sociological Review, 191–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bruce, S. (2000). Fundamentalism. Maiden, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  12. Burchardt, M., Griera, M., & García-Romeral, G. (2015a). Narrating liberal rights and culture: Muslim face veiling, urban coexistence and contention in Spain. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 41(7), 1068–1087.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Billaud, J., & Castro, J. (2013). Whores and Niqabées: The sexual boundaries of French nationalism. French Politics, Culture, and Society, 31(2), 81–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Burchardt, M., Griera, M., & García-Romeral, G. (2015b). Narrating liberal rights and culture: Muslim face veiling, urban coexistence and contention in Spain. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 41(7), 1068–1087.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Buzzell, T. (2001). Gay and lesbian activism in American protestant churches: Religion, homosexuality, and the politics of inclusion. The Politics of Social Inequality, 9, 83–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cadge, W., Day, H., & Wildeman, C. (2007). Bridging the denomination-congregation divide: Evangelical lutheran church in america congregations respond to homosexuality. Review of Religious Research, 48(3), 245–259.Google Scholar
  17. Cadge, W., Olson, L. R., & Wildeman, C. (2008). How denominational resources influence debate about homosexuality in mainline Protestant congregations. Sociology of Religion, 69(2), 187–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Carroll, M. P. (2004). Give me that ol’time hormonal religion. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 43(2), 275–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Collett, J. L., & Lizardo, O. (2009). A power-control theory of gender and religiosity. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 48(2), 213–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Comstock, G. D. (2002). Unrepentant, self-affirming, practicing: Lesbian/bisexual/gay people within organized religion. New York: The Continuum Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  21. Cornwall, M. (2009). Reifying sex difference isn’t the answer: Gendering processes, risk, and religiosity. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 48(2), 252–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Erzen, T. (2006). Straight to Jesus: Sexual and christian conversions in the ex-gay movement. Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  23. Ellis, L., Hoskin, A. W., & Ratnasingam, M. (2016). Testosterone, risk taking, and religiosity: Evidence from two cultures. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 55(1), 153–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Cahn, N., & Carbone, J. (2010). Red families v. blue families: Legal polarization and the creation of culture. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Chandler, T. D., Kamo, Y., & Werbel, J. D. (1994). Do delays in marriage and childbirth affect earnings? Social Science Quarterly, 75(4), 838–853.Google Scholar
  26. Chaves, M. (1991). Family structure and protestant church attendance: The sociological basis of cohort and age effects. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 30(4), 501–514.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Chesler, P. (2009). Are honor killings simply domestic violence? The Middle East Quarterly, 16(2), 61–69.Google Scholar
  28. Chong, K. H. (2008). Deliverance and submission: Evangelical women and the negotiation of patriarchy in South Korea (Vol. 309). Harvard East Asia Monographs.Google Scholar
  29. Vaus, D., & David, A. (1984). Workforce participation and sex differences in church attendance. Review of Religious Research., 25(3), 247–256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Emerson, M. O., & Hartman, D. (2006). The rise of religious fundamentalism. Annual Review of Sociology, 32, 127–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Freese, J., & Montgomery, J. D. (2007). The devil made her do it? Evaluating risk preference as an explanation of sex differences in religiousness. Social Psychology of Gender, 187–229.Google Scholar
  32. Frances and Wilcox. (1998). Religiosity and femininity: Do women really hold a more positive attitude toward Christianity? Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 37, 462–469.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Fulton, A. S., Gorsuch, R. L., & Maynard, E. A. (1999). Religious orientation, antihomosexual sentiment, and fundamentalism among Christians. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 14–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Glass, J., & Jacobs, J. (2005). Childhood religious conservatism and adult attainment among black and white women. Social Forces, 84, 555.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Glass, J., & Kanellakos, L. (2006). Religious conservatism and women’s market behavior following marriage and childbirth. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 68(3), 611–629.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Glass, J., & Levchak, P. (2014). Red states, blue states, and divorce—Understanding the impact of conservative protestantism on regional variation in divorce rates. American Journal of Sociology, 119, 1–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Glass, J. L., Sutton, A., & Fitzgerald, S. T. (2015). Leaving the faith: How religious switching changes pathways to adulthood among conservative Protestant youth. Social Currents, 2(2), 126–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Harrison, L., & Rowley, S. B. (2011). Babies by the bundle: gender, backlash, and the quiverfull movement. Feminist Formations, 23(1), 47–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Hawley, J. S. (1994). Fundamentalism and gender. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Hoffmann, J. P. (2009). Gender, risk, and religiousness: Can power control provide the theory? Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 48(2), 232–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Hout, M., & Fischer, C. S. (2002). Why more Americans have no religious preference: Politics and generations. American Sociological Review, 165–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Hout, M., Greeley, A., & Wilde, M. J. (2001). The demographic imperative in religious change in the United States. American Journal of Sociology, 107(2), 468–500.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Iannaccone, L. R. (1990). Religious practice: A human capital approach. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 29, 297–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Jacobsen, M., & Royer, H. (2011). Aftershocks: The impact of clinic violence on abortion services. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 3(1), 189–223.Google Scholar
  45. Jeffery, P., & Basu, A. (Eds.). (2012). Appropriating gender: Women’s activism and politicized religion in South Asia. New York and Great Britain: Routledge.Google Scholar
  46. Juergensmeyer, M. (1998). Chrisitan violence in America. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science., 558(1), 88–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Koopmans, R. (2015). Religious fundamentalism and hostility against out-groups: A comparison of Muslims and Christians in Western Europe. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 41(1), 33–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Robert, K. (2010). Homeschooling and religious fundamentalism. International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, 2(1).Google Scholar
  49. Lalich, J., & McLaren, K. (2010). Inside and outcast: Multifaceted stigma and redemption in the lives of gay and lesbian Jehovah’s witnesses. Journal of Homosexuality, 57(10), 1303–1333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Lawrence, B. B. (1989). Defenders of god: The fundamentalist revolt against the modern age. San Francisco: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  51. Lehman, E. C., Jr. (1998). Ordaining women: Culture and conflict in religious organizations. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 37(4), 757–758.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Lukenbill, W. B. (1998). Observations on the corporate culture of a gay and lesbian congregation. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 37(3), 440–452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Lugo, L., Cooperman, A., Funk, C., Smith, G., O’Connell, E., & Stencell, S. (2012). Nones’ on the rise. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center http://www.pewforum.org/2012/10/09/nones-on-the-rise.
  54. Mahmood, S. (2005). Politics of piety: The islamic revival and the feminist subject. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  55. McQueeney, K. (2009). We are god’s children, y’all: Race, gender, and sexuality in lesbian-and gay-affirming congregations. Social Problems, 56(1), 151–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Miller, A. S., & Hoffmann, J. P. (1995). Risk and religion: An explanation of gender differences in religiosity. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 34(1), 63–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Miller, A. S., & Stark, R. (2002). Gender and religiousness: Can Socialization explanations be saved? 1. American Journal of Sociology, 107(6), 1399–1423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Norris, P., & Inglehart, R. (2004). Sacred and secular: Religion and politics worldwide. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  59. Odeh, L. A. (2010). Honor killings and the construction of gender in Arab societies. The American Journal of Comparative Law, 58(4), 911–952.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Olson, L. R., & Cadge, W. (2002). Talking about homosexuality: The views of mainline Protestant clergy. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 41(1), 153–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Pearce, L. D., & Davis, S. N. (2006). Religion work-family gender ideology and fertility. [Unpublished] 2006. Presented at the population association of America 2006 annual meeting Los Angeles California March 30–April 1.Google Scholar
  62. Regnerus, M. (2007). Forbidden fruit: Sex and religion in the lives of American teenagers. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  63. Riesebrodt, M. (2000). Fundamentalism and the resurgence of religion. Numen, 47(3), 266–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Robinson, C. M., & Spivey, S. E. (2007). The politics of masculinity and the ex-gay movement. Gender and Society, 21(5), 650–675.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Rodriguez, E. M., & Ouellette, S. C. (2000). Gay and lesbian christians: Homosexual and religious identity integration in the members and participants of a gay-positive church. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 39(3), 333–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Roozen, D. A., McKinney, W., & Thompson, W. (1990). The” big chill” generation warms to worship: A research note. Review of Religious Research, 31(3), 314–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Ross, M., & Anderson, A. M. (2014). Relationships between importance of religious belief, response to anti-gay violence, and mental health in men who have sex with men in East Africa. Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, 25, 160–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Scheitle, C. P., Merino, S. M., & Moore, A. (2010). On the varying meaning of “open and affirming”. Journal of Homosexuality, 57(10), 1223–1236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Schnabel, L. (2015). How religious are American women and men? Gender differences and similarities. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 54(3), 616–622.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Sen, R., & Wagner, W. (2009). Cultural mechanics of fundamentalism: Religion as ideology, divided identities and violence in post-Gandhi India. Culture and Psychology, 15(3), 299–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Sherkat, D. E. (2001). Tracking the restructuring of American religion: Religious affiliation and patterns of religious mobility, 1973–1998. Social Forces, 79(4), 1459–1493.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Skirbekk, V., Kaufmann, E., & Goujon, A. (2010). Secularism, fundamentalism, or Catholicism? The religious composition of the United States to 2043. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 49(2), 293–310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Smith, C. (2000). Christian America? What evangelicals really want. University of California Press.Google Scholar
  74. Smith, C., & Sikkink, D. (2003). Social predictors of retention in and switching from the religious faith of family of origin: Another look using religious tradition self-identification. Review of Religious Research, 45(2), 188–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Spohn, U. (2013). Sisters in disagreement: The dispute among French feminists about the “Burqa Ban” and the causes of their disunity. Journal of Human Rights, 12(2), 145–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Stark, R. (2002). Physiology and faith: Addressing the “universal” gender difference in religious commitment. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 41(3), 495–507.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Stolzenberg, R. M., Blair-Loy, M., & Waite, L. J. (1995). Religious participation in early adulthood: Age and family life cycle effects on church membership. American Sociological Review, 84–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Sullins, D. P. (2006). Gender and religion: Deconstructing universality, constructing complexity. American Journal of Sociology, 112(3), 838–880.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Thompson, E. H., Jr., & Remmes, K. R. (2002). Does masculinity thwart being religious? An examination of older men’s religiousness. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 41(3), 521–532.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Thompson, E. H. (1991). Beyond the sex difference: Gender variations in religiousness. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 30, 381–394.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Whitehead, A. L. (2013). Religious organizations and homosexuality: The acceptance of gays and lesbians in American congregations. Review of Religious Research, 55(2), 297–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Wolkomir, M. (2004). “Giving it up to god” negotiating femininity in support groups for wives of ex-gay christian men. Gender and society, 18(6), 735–755.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Wong, W. C. A. (2013). The politics of sexual morality and evangelical activism in Hong Kong. Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 14(3), 340–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Yurdakul, G., & Korteweg, A. C. (2013). Gender equality and immigrant integration: Honor killing and forced marriage debates in the Netherlands, Germany, and Britain. Women’s Studies International Forum, 41(3), 204–214.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

Personalised recommendations