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← Why Women Are Bound to Religion: An Evolutionary Perspective

A. Noyd's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by A. Noyd

12. Comment #341779 by JohnC

If you are going to take evolutionary theory outside the bounds of biology (whether it be psychology, history or sociology), you'd better have some iron-clad data to be working with before you submit even a very modest conclusion, let alone sweeping generalisations.

Interesting article by David J. Buller from January 2009's Scientific American with some criticisms of evolutionary psychology.

And while I'm sure it's terribly gauche, I'd like to quote myself from a tangent in another thread which I think is more relevant here:
Another consideration for the religiosity of women is that it's one of the few forms of ecstasy and emotional succor that is permitted to women without criticism. It's still the general belief among many that women shouldn't find great passion in sex or intellectual pursuits or art. Strong religious convictions combined with certain religious practices can bring about similar states of ecstasy. Even a repressive religion can bring pleasure and relief to a woman with no other such source.

It doesn't contradict the author's proposition, but it's something I've observed myself (anecdotal, yes, I know), especially in women who are part of more repressive faiths, but even in supposedly woman-friendly neo-pagan or new-age communities. Perhaps women are not merely trading safety for victimhood, but are carving out a more personal place for that sort of pleasure all humans derive from intense experience while staying within the bounds of convention.

Edit: Good grief, the comment editor is in severe disagreement with me on the formatting of my links.

Tue, 17 Feb 2009 05:17:00 UTC | #326025