Do Men and Women Sin in Different Ways?
According to a recent Vatican report, the two sexes sin differently. For men, the top sin was lust. For women, pride.
In a Mormon context, the notion of the two sexes struggling with different sins is interesting. If you go by the number of porn talks that men get, maybe one could make an argument that Mormon leaders see lust as being men’s greatest failing. However, I don’t think Mormon women get an inordinate amount of talks on pride – at least no more than men. In fact, talks directed at women seem to me to often be about how wonderful and important we are and how much our male Church leaders love and appreciate us. Which might imply that they see feelings of lack of self-worth as being our problem more than pride.
This actually goes along with what feminist theologians have been saying since the seventies. Traditional Christian theology usually places pride as humankind’s greatest moral failing, but these feminist theologians have postulated that in fact, that paradigm might fit men better than women. They argue that women’s greatest failing is actually the opposite – a tendency to overly self-sacrifice. Or as feminist theologian Valorie Saiving puts it, “the underdevelopment or negation of Self.”
Personally, I like this idea. Of course it varies from person to person, but I sure see a lot of women who seem to me to struggle with that underdevelopment of Self. Though I do wonder if that is changing as young women are taught more and more how important it is for them to pursue educational and career goals, that their lives do have meaning aside from their reproductive roles….
What do you think? Do men and women tend to sin differently? What do you think of the idea of women’s biggest moral failing being an excessive tendency to self-sacrifice?