reply to post by halfoldman
I think religious attitudes just represent the attitudes of society as a whole.
For example, the patriarchal teachings of the Abrahamic religions, reflect the time that they were formed.
Whereas nowadays, in a slightly less patriarchal society, these same religions are displaying a softer side in regards to attitudes towards the roles
of both men and women, such as the approval of women priests and bishops.
The fact of the matter is that men will tend to congregate towards groups of males, and women will tend to congregate towards groups of females.
It's nature. We share more things in common with members of our own gender, so we are more likely to seek out the platonic acquaintance of people of
our own gender.
For example I can make a throwaway ''small-talk'' comment about shaving to a man I barely know, because I know it's an inoffensive subject that
he's bound to be able to relate to.
If I were to make exactly the same comment to a woman, then she might think I was being extremely rude, and making some ''joke'' about her having
some facial hair !
I know that might be a trivial example, but it still shows that when you are having a conversation with someone of your own gender, then you are much
more likely to find common ground to discuss.
I don't believe it's societal pressure that accounts for the fact that most men's best friends are male, and most women's best friends are
Sorry to go off on a bit of a ramble there, but my main point is that in my opinion religious gender segregation is just an extension of how we
naturally flock towards the gender that we identify with, in a purely platonic sense.
As a rule, religions tend to be strict on sex, and sexual relations, so they readily encourage same-gender fraternisation, because it keeps us away
from the ''immoral'', potential sexual interactions, with the opposite sex.
[edit on 5-9-2010 by Sherlock Holmes]