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The Buddha SideGender, Power, and Buddhist Practice in Vietnam$
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Alexander Soucy

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835989

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835989.001.0001

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(p.199) Conclusion
The Buddha Side

Alexander Soucy

University of Hawai'i Press

This concluding chapter explains that the relation between gender and dispositions towards religion is seen most clearly by looking not at those who are religiously active, but at those who are most skeptical towards religion. Many young men entirely avoid participation in religious activities and often criticize all religious practice as superstitious, irrational, and wasteful. Their view stems largely from the perception that to rely on the supernatural is an admission of personal weakness antithetical to the construction of masculinity. Young women, on the other hand, are more ambiguous in their views of religion. For them, religious practice is tied to the construction of emphasized femininity that is partly driven by expectations of sexual desirability, often explaining their practice as being concerned with the welfare of their family.

Keywords:   gender, religion, skepticism, young men, masculinity, young women, femininity, sexual desirability

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