Ἡ πρόοδος τοῦ ἐκχριστιανισμοῦ τῆς Ρωμαϊκῆς Αὐτοκρατορίας καὶ οἱ γυναῖκες

Πηγή

Σσ. 95 κ.ἑ.
AMIDST contemporary denunciations of Christianity as patriarchal and sexist, it is easily forgotten that the early church was so especially attractive to women […] An initial shift in sex ratios resulted from Christian doctrines prohibiting infanticide and abortion; I then show how the initial shift would have been amplified by a subsequent tendency to over recruit women. Along the way I shall summarize evidence from ancient sources as well as from modern archaeology and historical demography concerning the status of women in the early church. I will also build a case for accepting that relatively high rates of intermarriage existed between Christian women and pagan men, and will suggest how these would have generated many «secondary» conversions to Christianity. […] In his classic work on ancient and medieval populations, ]. C. Russell ( 1 958) estimated that there were 131 males per 100 females in the city of Rome, and 140 males per 100 females in Italy, Asia Minor, and North Africa. Russell noted in passing that sex ratios this extreme can occur only when there is «some tampering with human life». [ …] things were different among Christians as their distinctive subculture began to emerge. [ …] Christianity was laid hold of by women in particular, an d also that the percentage of Christian women, especially among the upper classes, was larger than that of men. […] by prohibiting all forms of infanticide and abortion, Christians removed major causes of the gender imbalance that existed among pagans. Even so, changes in mortality alone probably could not have resulted in Christian women’s coming to outnumber Christian men. However, there was a second factor influencing Christian sex ratios: women were more likely than men to become Christians. This, combined with the reduction in female mortality, would have caused a surplus of women in the Christian subcultures.

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