Sociology is the study of groups and group interactions, and the interactions and groups form our societies. Sociologists attempt to answer questions about the world we as humans have created for ourselves.
They try to identify patterns of behavior and how these patterns construct the world we live in. How sociologists answer these answer questions is through empirical data and the scientific method or an interpretive framework. In this paper I am going to discuss a question I have about our world and how I would go about answering it. The question I have is how does organized religion affect the self esteem of women.
Does growing up in a religious home help give adolescent girls self confidence and worth? Or does religion facilitate self deprecating thoughts and behaviors in adolescent girls. . Sociological Research in ActionDuring this day and age many things affect the self esteem of young females. Her family, community, and whatever media she is subjected to, but what about her religion, or lack thereof? How does one’s religion affect the personal view and confidence one has? In theory the majority of religious experiences are deemed as positive, religion might give some a basis of morality, purpose, order, etc. Some might see religion as a source of violence or prejudice.
If your stance is positive or negative, we all can agree that affect religion can have on a society is profound. And if it stands that its effects are indeed profound than it make sense that it would have some affect, whether it be positive or negative on self esteem. What role, if any, does religion play in the creation of a young girls self worth? Sociologist use the scientific method when trying to answer their questions about the world around us. I would follow this same course of action when trying to answer my question. After asking a question, in this case how does organized religion affect the self esteem of adolescent girls raised in religious households, the next step would be to research existing sources. I would want to look to books and studies surrounding the topic of religion in relation to the human psyche.
I might also want to read articles or books about how the parenting styles of religious families differ from non-religious families and what affect those styles have on children, specifically females. Religion and mental health might be an appropriate choice of book to study when trying to understand the effects on religion the human mind ( Schumaker, 1949). Journals discussing parenting styles and religious values of teenagers, religion and women’s sexual esteem, or correlates of undesirable character traits in children would all be worthwhile subjects to look into before taking the next step. *** After researching any existing sources that might be useful in answering my question, I would then want to formulate a hypothesis. A hypothesis is a testable educated guess about how two or more variables are related. *** The independent variable is the cause of change and the dependent variable is the effect or the thing that has changed.My hypothesis would be that while religion presumably is positive, the majority of the effects on an adolescent girl’s self esteem promote self depreciation. The independent variable would be growing up in a religious household while the dependent variable would be a young girl’s self esteem.
At this point in the study as a sociologist I would want to determine operational definitions for my study. For example if I am going to attempt to measure the effects of religion on a adolescents female’s self worth I am going to need to establish as base point for self worth as well as what is good and bad in terms of self worth. Determining these operational definitions will help create clear and easily understood results and data.
After formulating a hypothesis about my question it is time to design and conduct a study to test my hypothesis. Sociologists always want to maximize the the reliability and validity of a study. Meaning, the study should produce the same results if the study is ever replicated and the study and the study should be actually be good at measuring what the study is designed to measure. *** There are many options for collecting data for a study you have to choose the right method that will best measure the results you are trying to find.
You could use one method or several different kinds. I would choose to do survey of both young women and girls who have grown up in religious homes, with questions formulated to best measure how the individual views one’s self. I would also interested in interviewing females from different religious backgrounds about their experience with religion and how it relates to their self esteem. Sociologists work to uncover knowledge and shed light on human behaviors, and with newfound knowledge comes responsibility. Sociologists must take great care to avoid harming subjects or groups and to consider their ethical obligation.