Women’s disproportionate involvement in religion has been the subject of debate in the sociology of religion for some time. In particular, the gender gap in New Age spiritualities appears considerably greater than that found in the congregational sphere of mainstream religion. This article argues that there is nothing in being a woman per se that may attract an individual to certain spiritual activities but rather, that it is the elective affinity between women as a group and such activities that creates the impression of a direct appeal. Much of the holistic spirituality milieu is designed by women for women, not least the most popular elements concerned with healing and well-being. It is therefore possible that the initial gap between men and women is small but it becomes subsequently reinforced and widened due to the gendered nature of alternative spirituality courses, workshops and treatments.
- gender gap
- New Age spiritualities