Structural Location in Society

Women are not only well socialized, but they are also the main socializers. They are the main transmitters and guardians of cultural norms and traditions, including religion, in their maternal role. This role leads to some deprivation. Moberg (1962) suggested that the child-rearing duties of women actually lead to greater social isolation, relieved by the involvement in religious activities. A closely related explanation is that women will be more religious when involved in child-rearing. However, careful analysis in an Australian survey, comparing otherwise similar females with and without children, has found that children have no such effect (de Vaus & McAllister, 1987). The greatest gender difference in this study was found for single individuals; the difference declined during the life cycle and was lowest after children had left home. However, in a study of 2,384 subjects in Holland, Steggarda (1993) found that men, but not women, engaged in child-rearing were more religious, so that there was no gender difference when they both shared this task.

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