Images of God and Gender Socialization
This thesis examines various factors within Western society that encourage specific sex roles for males and females, and explores how these notions are transferred to children and what implications this has. These societal factors include biases ingrained within our language, stereotypes the media cultivates, and notions perpetuated by numerous social institutions. Christianity is focused on as an institution that fosters harmful conceptions about the roles of males and females. The exclusion and degradation of women in Christianity is represented in religious language, historical Christianity, the church, and children's perceptions of God. Specifically, the paper examines the sexual biases created and reflected by the American patriarchy and their effects both historically and in contemporary times. It focuses on certain factors within Western culture that perpetuate stereotypes of males and females. Different theories of socialization are explored in an attempt to identify how these biases are transferred from adult society to children. The role of language in maintaining sex biases will be examined with an emphasis on the implications of these biases in religious language. These are explored in a study I did on children's perceptions of God which serves to further supplement assertions regarding sex roles and socialization in Western society.
© Copyright 1993 Heather A. Brandstetter