For instance, religion has created ambiguous attitudes towards homosexuality and same sex marriage; there are, however, differences in attitudes of different cultures despite similarity in religion, suggesting that religious orientations are tempered by a nation’s cultural context (Adamczyk & Pitt, 2009:338). Thus, Christians may accept or reject homosexuality depending upon their national culture. There were also studies on society’s attitudes towards gender roles and feminism being affected by religion. Surprisingly, more Muslim women are comfortable identifying themselves as feminists because according to them, Islamic teaching supports feminist principles. Christian women, on the other hand, are less willing to endorse feminism (Ali, Mahmood, Moel, Hudson & Leathers, 2008:38). Religion also is likely to influence gender inequality in education, with discrimination against girls being strong in Muslim-dominant countries (Cooray & Potrafke, 2010:1), something I also gathered during my interview with Amber (see previous journal entry).
Religion could also influence pro-environment behaviours and attitudes. A general sense of spirituality and belief in the soul are found to influence individuals to take a greater concern for the conservation of the environment. Religious belief systems contribute in the creation of public goods and thereby affect economic behaviour (Owen & Videras, 2007:54).
Spirituality and religious attendance have also been associated with decreased probability of suicidal inclinations. Religion and spirituality are likewise shown to be significant factors in decreased rates of mental illness. It was originally thought that the social supports provided by religious affiliations may be at work in reducing suicidal incidents, but a study found that even without the social affiliations, spirituality and profound belief in God still reduced suicidal tendencies (Rasic, et al., 2008).
Religion, aside from influencing people to value