Christian orthodoxy, attitudes towards women, shame, and rightwing authoritarianism

Carol has done research on Christian orthodoxy, attitudes towards women, shame, and rightwing authoritarianism, collecting responses from members of a number of Christian (both Catholic and Protestant) and quasi-Christian sects, including Catholic, Seventh-Day Adventist, Mormon, Unitarian, Baptist, United Church of Christ, Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Methodist churches using the Christian Orthodoxy Scale, the ATW (Attitudes Towards Women) Scale, the ISS (Internalized Shame Scale), and the RWA (Rightwing Authoritarianism Scale).  When she approached the Jehovah’s Witnesses elders at a local Kingdom Hall, she was told that they would “fill out the questionnaires” for their congregants rather than allow her to solicit participation from them directly, so no information was garnered for that sect.  Some of the church groups had very few participants and had to be excluded.

The general results of the study, though unpublished, indicated a correlation between Christian orthodoxy, negative attitudes towards women, and rightwing authoritarianism.  There was no significant correlation with internalized shame.  One possible explanation for this is that rather than being internalized, shame may be externalized by this population by instilling shame in others.  Alice Miller’s  For Your Own Good regarding toxic shame is particularly instructive as is the work of John Bradshaw, who popularized her work. Also the seminal work of Gershon Kaufman.