Gender differences in the perceived religious influence of Yeshiva programs
Tannenbaum, Chana G.
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This study tested hypothesized differences between male and female recent high school graduates (within 2 years prior to completing the questionnaire) in reporting influences on their religiosity. The questionnaire measured alumni reflections regarding the "affective/emotional" vs. "intellectual/cognitive" elements of both formal and informal educational programs, and the perceived influence on religious growth. A population of 188 females and 167 males, aged 18--19, from U.S. Yeshiva high schools, responded to the questionnaire, in evaluation of their own perceptions of programs experienced throughout high school.;The questionnaire was developed by identifying Yeshiva high school experiences that potentially could influence students' religious growth. The list of experiences was determined through in-depth interviews of ten male and ten female former students. Each of these experiences was then categorized by a panel of expert Jewish educators as either "intellectual/cognitive" or "affective/emotional." The hypothesis, based on a review of literature stating that males report greater religious influence from rational and intellectual experiences, was that Orthodox Jewish adolescent males would report the "intellectual/cognitive" aspects of the Yeshiva high school program as having greater impact on their religious growth than the "affective/emotional" aspects, with the opposite true for their female counterparts. Contrary to the hypothesis, however, the responses demonstrate that the females reported the "intellectual/cognitive" aspects of the Yeshiva high school program to be nearly as influential on their religious growth as the "affective/emotional" aspects, while the males reported the "affective/emotional" aspects of the Yeshiva high school program in fact to be more influential than the "intellectual/cognitive" aspects of the Yeshiva high school program in their religious growth.