10:1 – Single Women Religious Workers to Men (Posted 4-7-2011)

As hard to believe as this statistic might be, it’s true. Single women religious workers outnumber single men under the same title 10:1. But why? Julie and I have a theory that may or may not be true, and it has to do with identity.

As a general rule (or perhaps for some, something of a stereotype), men find more of their value in what they do. It’s hard to have a conversation with a male acquaintance without striking the topic of profession. Just speaking for myself, and as wrong as it is, I often find a significant amount of my own self-worth in my performance in my job. A woman perhaps is more inclined to introduce you to significant relationships in her life.

Right now, as a guy, I (Chad) have been stripped of my identity. Whatever self-worth I found in what I did is basically gone. In the states, I was a competent youth pastor/seminary student, in what I felt was one of the best NT programs in the world. I was doing just fine, thank you. Now, I speak like a five year old, or worse. A five year old is at least a little cute when he messes up a verb tense; I’m some kind of a freak. This causes me to work 10 hours a day on language, fighting battles of frustration over the slowness of my progress. Why? Because without the language, I don’t have any legitimate profession to identify that looks good on paper, unless I want to teach English. This is good, of course. It’s part of God’s plan to force me to identify who I am in Christ as most important.

So, I think single young men anticipate the loss of such identity and don’t come. A woman seems to be more comfortable in the loss of professional identity. Women are also more naturally gifted in language, and without the added pressure of identifying her worth in the process, she progresses.

It’s just an observation, but I wonder if fear of loss of identity contributes to the outrageous 10:1 ratio.

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