Studies have shown that women hold different images of God. For them God is seen more as a healer, as supportive rather than instrumental (Nelsen, Cheek, & Hau, 1985), and as loving, comforting, and forgiving, where males see him as a supreme power, a driving force, a planner and controller (Wright & Cox, 1967). Yeaman (1987), in a study of members of a radical Roman Catholic association, found that 73% of the women had a "sex-inclusive" image of God, that is, as neither male nor female, compared with 58% of the men. Hood and Hall (1980) tested a sex-related theory of religious experience with 220 students. They found that the females described both their sexual and their mystical experiences, when they had them, in "receptive" terms; the males described their sexual experiences, but not their mystical ones, in "agentic" terms. Therefore the sexual model was supported for females but not for males. These findings indicate that women may experience the religious message in a feminine compensatory way, thus appropriating and creating a female sphere of religiosity which subverts the intent of the male hierarchy.
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