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See:  Definitional Issues Collection; Understanding Groups Collection

Views expressed on our Web sites are those of the document's author(s) and are not necessarily shared, endorsed, or recommended by ICSA or any of its directors, staff, or advisors

Gender Attributes That Affect Women’s Attraction to and Involvement in Cults

Shelly Rosen, C.S.W.
New York City

Abstract:


The author describes women who join cults as intelligent, active, and seeking to make an impact. These women are looking for an environment where they can experience themselves as powerful but not competitive, be part of a community where they can get recognition and mentorship, and feel somewhat safe from the gender inequities that characterize the culture at large. In reality, most cultic groups are characterized by attributes that are diametrically opposed to those they emanate and espouse. Thus, women in such groups become anxious and depressed but have difficulty leaving because the manipulative techniques of the leaders mirror the gender power differentials to which women are accustomed.

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Resources

Betz, Katherine E.: "No Place to Go: Life in a Prison Without Bars" - abs
Collective of Women: "Sex, Lies, and Grand Schemes of Thought in Closed Groups" - abs
Dahlen, Penny, Ed.D.: "Working with Women Survivors of Cults" - abs
Lalich, Janja: "Dominance and Submission: The Psychosexual: Exploitation of Women in Cults"
Rosen, Shelly, C.S.W.: "Gender Attributes.Women�s Attraction..Involvement in Cults" - abs
Stein, Alexandra: "Influence of Cults on the Relationship of Mothers to Their Children" - abs
Weishaupt, Kaynor J.: "Wifely Subjection: Mental Health Issues in Jehovah�s Witness" - abs

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