This can refer to reducing ties between a government and a state religionreplacing laws based on scripture such as HalakhaDominionismand Sharia law with civil laws, and eliminating discrimination on the basis of religion. This is said to add to democracy by protecting the rights of religious minorities.
This assumption was likely reinforced by the early concentration on patterns of religious behavior in predominantly European and North American countries with large Christian populations. Gradually, however, as studies paid increasing attention to other faiths and countries, different patterns of gender differences were detected.
Researchers began to find that while women generally were more religious than men, this was not always the case. More than three decades of research have yielded a large quantity of data and a greater appreciation for the complexities of the relationship between gender and religion — complexities reflected in the data presented in this report.
But a definitive, empirically based explanation of why women generally tend to be more religious than men remains elusive. The explanations generally fall into three broad categories: By inference, women are more religious because they have less risk-promoting testosterone.
They noted that men appear to have a greater innate tendency to take risks, and therefore are more willing than women to gamble that they will not face punishment in the afterlife.
As a result, men are less religious. Since women are generally more risk-averse, this theory posits, they turn to religion to avoid eternal punishment or to secure a place in heaven. Ellison of the University of Texas at San Antonio argue for more exploration of genetic factors.
Montgomery of the University of Wisconsin postulate that psychological differences could throw light on gender differences in religiosity.
They advocate for more research into which psychological aspects are most influential on religious devotion and how differences are shaped by genes and social environments.
As women become more like men in activities outside the home, they theorize, women also may become more similar in levels of religiousness. Indeed, the authors speculate that the religious gender gap may eventually disappear entirely, as gender roles become more alike and gender equality becomes more commonplace: Indeed, they find that full-time female workers are not only less religious than women who do not work, but also display a religious orientation similar to men.
He suggests that women in the labor force, particularly those in high-paying, full-time jobs, are less religious because they receive less social validation and affirmation from religious congregations compared with women who follow more gender-typical roles and expectations.
Social scientists David Voas, Siobhan McAndrew and Ingrid Storm, who are at the University College London and the Universities of Bristol and Manchester, respectively, argue that in Europe, the gender gap decreases but does not disappear with modernization.
But they contend that the narrowing gap is due more to rising national income per capita than to secularization or growing gender equality. Despite the vast social changes and gender role transformations of recent decades, the religious gender gap persists in many societies.
As a result, contemporary scholars of religion seem increasingly to be converging on a consensus that the religious gender gap most likely arises from a complicated mix of multiple factors. One theory discussed in Chapter 7 on why women generally tend to be more religious than men is that, in many societies, women are less likely than men to work in the labor force, a social role that some studies find is associated with lower levels of religious commitment.
Scholars note that a focus solely on home management, which involves more attention and time spent raising children and caring for sick or elderly relatives, appears to encourage stronger religious commitment and more frequent religious activity.
Work also offers alternatives around which to construct personal and community identities. In addition, it can broaden horizons beyond the family, exposing people to new ideas and ways of life that can challenge traditional religious dogma. Some experts also hypothesize that women in the labor force seek to conform to a prevailing male ethos that may not affirm religious commitment.
Testing the labor force theory The labor force theory of the religious gender gap leads to two hypotheses. First, women working in the labor force should be less religious than women outside the labor force and therefore more similar to men in their levels of religious commitment.
Second, in the aggregate, countries with larger shares of women working in the labor force should have smaller gender gaps overall, compared with countries where few women are in the labor force.
The first hypothesis is supported by a Pew Research Center analysis of data from 47 countries with measures of employment status and religious commitment. As a result, the religious gender gaps between women working in the labor force and men are much smaller than the gaps between women not working for pay and men.
Meanwhile, labor force participation also appears to be less of a factor in many Muslim-majority countries, where there are smaller gender gaps in religious commitment to begin with, as well as in other non-Christian countries such as India and China.
Despite these variations, the analysis finds that labor force participation is associated with lower levels of religious commitment for women, on average, leading to a smaller gender gap with men than the gender gap between women outside the labor force and men.Secularization (or secularisation) is the transformation of a society from close identification and affiliation with religious values and institutions toward nonreligious values and secular institutions.
The secularization thesis refers to the belief that as societies progress, particularly through modernization and rationalization, religion loses its authority in all aspects of social life. Some of the exceptions to secularisation (even in the developed world) are pronounced enough to count as evidence against Secularisation Theory.
Sociologist of religion Rodney Stark condemns secularisation theory "to the graveyard of failed theories" Secularism, as defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is the "indifference to, or rejection or exclusion of, religion and religious considerations." As a philosophy, secularism seeks to interpret life on principles taken solely from the material world, without recourse to religion.
In political terms, secularism is the principle of the separation of government institutions and persons.
Secularisation theorists, however, generally assume that religion refers to religious institutions, such as churches, and to sets of beliefs. Building on Max Weber's concepts of enchantment and mystery, a key assumption of this theory is that religion is often irrational, based on superstition and illogical beliefs.
Linda Woodhead: Actually, the origins of secularisation theory are coterminous with the origins of sociology itself. It’s absolutely fundamental to the whole discipline and all the great fathers of sociology – Weber, Durkheim and Marx – believed and expounded some version of secularisation theory.
Academy of Social Sciences ASS The United Kingdom Association of Learned Societies in the Social Sciences formed in gave rise to the Academy of Learned Societies for the Social Sciences incorporated , which became the Academy of Social Sciences on ASS Commission on the Social Sciences Notes from the meeting on by Ron Johnston.