Differences in Socialization

Just as important as personality styles may be the different ways in which boys and girls are socialized. Barry, Bacon, and Child (1957) found that nearly all cultures emphasize nurturance, obedience, and responsibility for girls, while boys are trained for self-reliance and independence.

[T]he socialization of women is said to emphasize conflict resolution, submission, gentleness, nurturance, and other expressive values that are congruent with religious emphases. By contrast, the more instrumental emphases in male socialization are said to make religion less consonant with male roles, values, and self-images. (de Vaus & MacAllister, 1987, p. 472)

It has sometimes been suggested that female socialization includes the expectation of being active in the religious congregation, doing "religious work," supporting and nurturing others, and being subordinate to the clergy.

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