Who Believes in a Male God? Ideological Beliefs and Gendered Conceptualizations of God

Document Type


Publication Date



Taylor & Francis

Source Publication

International Journal for the Psychology of Religion

Source ISSN



Recent studies have explored whether certain conceptualizations of God are associated with various attitudes and beliefs. In the current study, we examined the relationship between gendered God concepts and the belief that God is involved in one’s life and religious-related rigid ideologies (i.e., religious fundamentalism and right-wing authoritarianism [RWA]). Across two studies, one conducted with religious students at a Jesuit university and the other with a national sample, we found that individuals who believed God to be male were more likely to believe that God had more control and involvement in their life, had higher levels of religious fundamentalism and higher levels of RWA-Aggression (Study 1 and 2), RWA–Submission (Study 1 and 2), and RWA–Conventionalism (Study 2) than individuals with other gendered or nongendered conceptualizations of God. Implications of the broader impact that gendered God concepts have on social and political domains are explored. Last, limitations and future research directions are discussed.


International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, Vol. 28, No. 1 (January-March 2018): 55-70. DOI.