How do men and women differ in the way they feel about god?

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The purpose of the present study was to (a) re-evaluate a model of God images based on masculine and feminine characteristics and (b) examine how God images relate to hopelessness and life satisfaction, while controlling for additional religious variables. Participants were 254 college students. A factor analysis indicated that God images did not fall into primarily masculine or feminine factors, rather into Loving, Controlling, and Permissive God factors. Individually, these factors were not found to be significant predictors of hopelessness in a regression analysis, when religious service, participant gender, and religious orientation were controlled. However, an interaction between participant gender and the Controlling God factor indicated that women with more controlling images of God experienced more hopelessness, whereas men with more controlling images of God experienced less hopelessness. Results are discussed in relation to parental styles and gender differences as contributing factors in determining one’s image of God.

Source: “Images of God as They Relate to Life Satisfaction and Hopelessness” from International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, Volume 20, Issue 2, 2010, Pages 85 – 96

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