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An investigation into the relationship between self-esteem and patriarchal and feminist attitudes of Protestant women seminarians and lay women regarding selected biblical passages and Christian theological constructs
This study investigates the relationship between Christian women's self-esteem, spiritual well-being, and feminist/patriarchal attitudes as well as knowledge regarding selected Biblical passages and theological constructs that speak to the women's role. Participants were 78 women seminarians and 78 women parishioners from main line Protestant denominations in urban and suburban New England. Each was given four questionnaires: The Tennessee Self-Concept Scale, The Christian Women's Attitude Scale, The Spiritual Well-Being Scale, and Knowledge of Biblical Passages and Theological Constructs Scale. The questionnaires were administered in groups to insure procedural standardization. Responses were anonymous; all individual responses were pooled. Statistically significant correlations show women in this study with more knowledge of feminist Biblical analysis, have more feminist attitudes regarding the measured passages and constructs and higher levels of all-over self-esteem, particularly perceived self-image, self-acceptance, personal worth, personal adequacy and self-evaluation of their personality. Also these women have a higher sense of moral worth, physical and emotional independence, openness and greater capacity for self-criticism. These women also show higher levels of belief in women and men sharing equal authority, that God's nature has both masculine and feminine attributes, that women and men share equal responsibility for sin, and that women should value their physical selves, their sexuality and their beauty. Conversely, the data demonstrates that women with higher patriarchal attitudes have lower capacity for normal, healthy openness and self-criticism and lower personal self-worth. Puzzling data shows women holding more feminist attitudes and seeing themselves equal with men as well as women higher on patriarchal attitudes and lower on physical and emotional independence both have a significantly higher sense of religious and existential spiritual well-being. Finally, comparing differences between parishioners and seminarians, parishioners have more adequacy, worth and value as family members, while seminarians have more spiritual and religious well-being, more knowledge of measured passages and constructs, and more feminist attitudes about them, particularly regarding female authority and feminine and masculine qualities of God.
Social psychology|Bible|Womens studies|Psychotherapy|Religion
Nielsen, Barbara Harriet, "An investigation into the relationship between self-esteem and patriarchal and feminist attitudes of Protestant women seminarians and lay women regarding selected biblical passages and Christian theological constructs" (2000). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9978533.