(Of course, I am no neurologist, and so can't say definitively whether or not that "fact" is actually true)
When I'm at my most cynical, I sometimes amuse the idea that women, being irrational creatures of emotion, are religious because they're too dumb to reason their way out -- and their rational husbands are religious just to get laid.
On Thanksgiving, as I sat through a special Christian Science service, being one of only, like, eight males in the room, I yet again entertained that cynical, misogynistic view. The service progressed like CS services usually do -- so slowly that any drama or passion is completely nonexistent -- and then the fun started; time was turned over to the congregation to give testimonies of healing.
In Mormon testimony meetings, it's all about "feeling the spirit" and "having prayers answered." Everyone testifies of the "truthfulness" of the Gospel, and gives stories of times where they "felt the promptings of the spirit." With Christian Scientists (who, in my opinion, are neither Christians nor scientists) it's all about personal healings. After all, sickness, disease, and death are just symptoms of the belief that we're sick, diseased, or dying. Put your faith in God, they say, and renounce these false, material beliefs!
It's interesting to see the same passion present in both Mormon and Christian Scientist testimony meetings. Both groups firmly believe that the truthfulness of something is measured by the amount of force you use to say it, not by such paltry things as evidence and logic.
Silly scientists, you can't just present evidence! You've got to shout louder and cry harder! That's what makes an argument correct!
Anyway, this experience has made me deeply curious. When it comes to Mormon testimony meetings, what's the ratio of male to female testimony bearers? And, even better, what's the ratio of sobbing, emotional males to sobbing, emotional females? Are females really more emotional than males, or is it a product of your upbringing?
If it's a product of your upbringing, the ratio of crying males to crying females in testimony meetings should be roughly 1:1, given that crying is such an essential part of "feeling the spirit," an experience which is required by Mormons for social acceptance.
So, here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to attend Fast and Testimony Meetings for the Ventura 3rd and 5th Wards for the next few months, and I'm going to keep a running tally on my blog for:
- Number of males : Number of females
- Number of emotional males : Number of emotional females
- Number of older people : Number of younger people
... and maybe a few more, though I'll have to figure out quickly since this Saturday is a Fast and Testimony Meeting. Expect another post about this soon!