Women’s ordination good for girls’ self-esteem: study

Women’s ordination good for girls’ self-esteem: study

A study has found that being around a female minister can have a benefits for girls’ self-esteem. 
That year, researchers Benjamin Knoll and Cammie Jo Bolin published their study into women and girls’ self-esteem. They found that when girls had female clergy at least some of the time growing up, their later reported levels of self-esteem as high as men’s 

Knoll and Bolin also found that a gender gap in psychological empowerment was only present among those whose religious congregational leaders growing up were exclusively men. 

She Preached The Word: Women’s Ordination in Modern America drew on data from surveys Knoll and Bolin conducted in waves in 2015 and 2016. The study was published in a 2018 book by Oxford University Press. 

“Our survey showed evidence that exposure to female leaders in formative years can boost both self-esteem and self-efficacy for young women and that carries on into adulthood,” the authors wrote. 

“In fact, the presence of female religious leaders in a young woman’s life enables her to effectively close the self-esteem gap as an adult.” 

Lower self-esteem has been previously linkedto higher levels of depression and anxiety as well as lower levels of relationship success, job satisfaction, and motivation for personal improvement. 

The Uniting Church has had women ordained to ministry since church union in 1977.


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