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Gender Differences in Images of God

Hart M. Nelsen, Neil H. Cheek, Jr. and Paul Au
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Vol. 24, No. 4 (Dec., 1985), pp. 396-402
DOI: 10.2307/1385990
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1385990
Page Count: 7
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Gender Differences in Images of God
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Abstract

Images of God data from the General Social Survey (1983) are subjected to factor analysis. Three images of God factors are identified: God as king, as healer, and as relational. Women score higher only on the God as healer image. The three images are positively interrelated and have substantial, positive relationships with church attendance. The finding that women score higher on God as healer, or a supportive factor, is viewed in part as related to succor women have traditionally received in church participation; the differences by gender in regard to holding this image of God are diminished when church attendance is controlled. The findings are compared with conclusions drawn by Vergote et al. and Roof and Roof. The claim that Americans are more likely to emphasize instrumental (God as king) rather than supportive (God as healer) images is challenged.

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