Title

Weaker Vessels and Helpmeets: Gender Role Stereotypes and Attitudes toward Female Ordination

Document Type

Article

Abstract

A distinction is made between two types of stereotypes about women: a "weaker vessel" stereotype, connoting female inferiority, and a "helpmeet" stereotype, connoting gender role specialization without necessary feminine inferiority. Among lay people, the weaker vessel stereotype is a stronger predictor of opposition to female ordination than is the helpmeet stereotype. The exception to this generalization is Catholic men, who, if they oppose female ordination, seem likely to do so because of a belief that women are better qualified to handle specialized, nonclerical tasks. This distinction may arise because of the status of Mary in the Catholic church.

Disciplines

Catholic Studies | Political Science | Religion | Women's Studies

Permissions

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