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Give Me that Ol' Time Hormonal Religion

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Rodney Stark (2002) has sought to explain the greater religiosity of women, something that he asserts to be a cultural and historical universal, by suggesting that male physiology makes males more impulsive and so less likely to submit to religious prohibitions. Although he presents evidence suggesting that greater female religiosity is true today cross-culturally, he presents no real evidence establishing that this generalization was true prior to the 19th century. In fact, Stark's article completely overlooks a highly visible and well-established body of scholarly literature suggesting that the “feminization of piety,” in both the Protestant and Catholic traditions, is a relatively recent historical phenomenon.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada

Publication date: 2004-06-01

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