This study was mentioned today on Epiphenom http://pss.sagepub.com/content/22/11/1413
Theory predicts that individuals’ sexism serves to exacerbate inequality in their society’s gender hierarchy. Past research, however, has provided only correlational evidence to support this hypothesis. In this study, I analyzed a large longitudinal data set that included representative data from 57 societies. Multilevel modeling showed that sexism directly predicted increases in gender inequality. This study provides the first evidence that sexist ideologies can create gender inequality within societies, and this finding suggests that sexism not only legitimizes the societal status quo, but also actively enhances the severity of the gender hierarchy. Three potential mechanisms for this effect are discussed briefly.
Here is the Epiphenom note
This is not surprising, but as a scientist, I love to see the data. The correlation is really strong. The author of the paper even says that religiosity actually predicted gender inequality and that it can also increase gender inequality. The graph doone posted in the main body of this discussion is a correlation obtained using the following questionnaire: “On the whole, men make better political leaders than women do” and “On the whole, men make better business executives than women do.” One interesting caveat is that a correlation holds for all Western countries but the Asian countries included in this study (very few; these are Taiwan, Thailand, which are religious and China, Hong Kong and Japan, which are non-religious) are ALL very sexist regardless of religion. I once read that the sexism of Asian countries can be attributed to the fact that historically agrarian societies favor males because they can produce more work, in other words they are better beasts of burden than women, but I can't remember where.
I would love to have a time capsule to go back to the past and see if sexism originated way before religion or if sexism is simply one of the "default" programs for bands of big apes. Whatever the answer is, religion certainly makes sexism worse. Start with the Torah: the fall of humanity happened because of Eve.
When I was a muslim and my whole life I've been asking myself why religion is so sexist?!, then I keep reminding myself, oh, that's Satan stay away from me Satan! and as I learned that I have seek refuge from the devil and his thoughts and now these thoughts that I had when I was a muslim actually happened to be real with statistics...
YES RELIGION IS SEXIET!
or I can say that the society-any society-is sexist and religion assisted this sexism.