Gender Differences in Spirituality among College Students

By Agha, Faizi; Maqbool, Shahina et al. | Indian Journal of Positive Psychology, December 1, 2016 | Go to article overview

Gender Differences in Spirituality among College Students


Agha, Faizi, Maqbool, Shahina, Javed, Sarah, Indian Journal of Positive Psychology


One of the greatest gifts of spiritual knowledge is that it rearranges one's sense of self to something he/she may not have even ever imagined was within them. Spirituality says that even if someone think she/she is inadequate and unimportant, it simply is not so. A person is greater and more powerful than he has ever imagined. A great and divine light exists inside of everyone. One may think he is limited to just his physical body and state of affairs -including gender, race, family, job, and status in life -but spirituality comes in and says "there is more than this." Spirituality can be considered similar to words like inspire and expire. This is especially appropriate because when a person is filled with spiritual energy, he feels great inspiration, and when the spiritual life force leaves one's body, his time on this earth expires. These are two of the main themes ofthe spiritualjoumey:

* Allowing oneself to be filled with inspiration, which also translates into love, joy, wisdom, peacefulness, and service?

* To remember that an inevitable expiration waits to take one away from the very circumstances he/she may think are so very important right now.

The study of spirituality goes deeply into the core of every matter and spreads far beyond the physical world of matter. Spirituality connects with the profoundly powerful and divine force that's present in this universe. Whether it is worldly success, inner peace, or supreme enlightenment, spiritual knowledge outweighs every other knowledge to achieve worldly and ultimate goals and provides effective and efficient plan for living.

Spirituality has different meaning for different individual. Some consider it as being a part of an organized religion: going to church, a mosque, and so on. For others, it's very private. Some people get attached with their spiritual side through private prayers, yoga, meditation, silence, or even long walks.

Some researches show that even agnostics can't overpower the sense that there is something which is far greater than the world we see. We naturally look for patterns, as the brain processes sensory experiences and then seek out meaning in those patterns. Wetend to develop a feeling that once we believe in some thing, we will try to explain away anything that conflicts with it, the phenomenon known as "cognitivedissonance".

Definition

"Spirituality is the process of seeking personal authenticity, genuineness, and wholeness; transcending one's current locus of centricity (i.e., recognizing concerns beyond oneself); developing a greater connectedness to self and others through relationships and community; deriving meaning, purpose, and direction in life; and openness to exploring a relationship with a higher power or powers that transcend human existence and human knowing" (Bryant 2007).

The relationship between gender and spirituality is one of great interest. Many academics grasp to apprehend this interaction. Most reach to a decision that women tend to be more religious than men (Hammermeister, Flint, El-Alayli, Ridnour, & Peterson, 2005). However, this could be because of the way religion is defined on typical scales. Academics have explored numerous reasons for the difference between women and men in religion, including biology, emotionality, socialization and gender roles. Usually, spirituality has been male-focused and involved maturation and a "coming into oneself." However, recent spiritual prominence has involved coming into relationship, both with God and with the religious community. This emphasis overlaps with the female tendency to focus on emotional and relational connectedness, while men may focus more on God's power and judgment when they consider religion. Spirituality is a separate concept from religiosity, although the two may be interweaved in specific situations. Whereas religiosity is included in the study of spirituality, Bryant's study differs from much investigation in this area in that its main focus is spirituality as a whole and not religiosity. …

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