Ariana Grande’s song ‘God is a Woman’ might have been a hit, but not many people actually think that God might be female.
According to a YouGov survey last year, just 1% of people believe God is female, while just over a third (36%) think God is a man.
Four in ten (41%) think God doesn’t have a human gender at all, the poll found, while 3% believe that God has a different human gender identity to male/female, and the remaining 19% say they don’t know.
Slightly ironically, female Christians are more likely to believe God is male than Christian men are, with 41% of female Christians saying God is female compared to 30% of male Christians.
The issue is up for discussion on Yahoo UK’s podcast Britain Is a Nation Of…., which focuses on religion.
Listen to a discussion of these statistics on Yahoo and YouGov’s podcast, Britain is a Nation of…
Asked why so many people think God is a man, Christian priest Kate Bottley told the podcast the main reason is because men were behind writing the scriptures that have formed the framework for Christianity.
“It’s blokes that wrote the scriptures, they were the ones that were educated,” she said. “It’s because that’s who commanded it, that’s who ruled it.”
Another reason is that language lets us down, she said, because it’s not possible to say ‘it’ to convey a gender-neutral god.
Asked what the cause of that ‘male-ification’ of God is, she said a focus on men in the bible had had a serious impact, from suggestions that women could be ‘saved’ through marriage to men or women could not be permitted to speak in church.
“It has led to 2,000 years of the oppression of women and feminist theology comes from two perspectives – one is scripture is irredeemable, Christianity is irredeemable in terms of a feminist narrative, we need to chuck it out. You can’t possibly be a Christian and a feminist.
“Or the perspective that it’s all redeemable but we just need to search a little bit harder to find the stories of women.
“We just need to be even more vocal, we just need to shout a little bit louder. And we’re getting there but it’s a work in progress and It can be very disheartening at times to be a woman of faith.”
This survey was made possible by YouGov’s panel of 6 million respondents. Join the trend and share your opinions with the world today.