Chapter

Secularization

Marta Trzebiatowska and Steve Bruce

in Why are Women more Religious than Men?

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199608102
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744730 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199608102.003.0009
Secularization

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Much of the complexity of the question this book attempts to answer stems from the fact that we are exploring a changing relationship between two phenomena (gender and religion) that have themselves been changing. This chapter places the issue of gender gap in religiosity in the context of secularization and argues that women and men have been differently affected by the decline in the power, prestige and popularity of religion in the west. As the effects of secularization are felt first in the public sphere, it follows that they were felt earlier and more strongly by men than by women. In thoroughly religious societies there are not discernible differences in underlying religious attitudes and beliefs, even if religious duties and obligations are gendered. The disaffiliation from the churches that is one major facet of secularization starts with men but women also start to fall away post-1960s. As other gender differences decline, and as religion becomes less persuasive, the differences in male and female interest in religion also decline.

Keywords: secularization; decline; disaffiliation; interest; west

Chapter.  9246 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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