I was thinking that maybe the reason more women (in the 15-45 year old age bracket) are religious than men (my twin disagrees with this sweeping generalization) is because religion involves (1) believing in an objective reality that takes precedence over (2) your own subjective experience. In other words– I don’t feel like there is a loving God in charge of the universe right now, but I’m going to believe it. Or, I don’t feel there is a point to my personal refraining from seemingly insignificant XYZ or doing ABC right now, but I believe it has a cosmic significance, that it all matters, and that something beautiful and eternal will be made out of my daily choices to act as if they did matter.
As women, we get monthly hormonal cycles that massively fluctuate and thus can really mess with our heads. There are a bunch of brain chemicals regulating our fertility cycle — and so for a few days during ovulation when the estrogen levels peak I feel (1) intensely emotionally needy (e.g. sentimental and sad, reflective, craving human closeness/touch/approval), and then a week or two later as the progesterone plummets I feel (2) like the world is ending (feelings of imminent apocalypse, the long decay of all that is good in the world) spiced with bouts of weeping, irrational anger, and giddy happiness.
To conclude, this monthly experience can potentially cause us to get used to not taking ourselves too seriously. From a constant experience that our in-the-moment view of things could be wrong, we accept that reality is bigger than our own in-the-moment feelings about it. In other words, we get used to believing in an objective reality over our own current subjective experience.
My twin thinks I’m making way too many generalizations.