Christianity Elevates Women From Birth

Albert Anker - Strickendes Mädchen, Kleinkind in der Wiege hütend

Rodney Stark, The Triumph of Christianity:

“The superior situation of Christian women vis-à-vis their pagan sisters began at birth. The exposure of unwanted infants was “widespread” in the Roman Empire, and girls were far more likely than boys to be exposed. Keep in mind that legally and by custom, the decision to expose an infant rested entirely with the father as reflected in this famous, loving letter to his pregnant wife from a man who was away working: “If—good luck to you!—you should bear offspring, if it is a male, let it live; if it is female, expose it. You told Aphrodisias, ‘Do not forget me.’ How can I forget you? I beg you therefore not to worry.” Even in large families, “more than one daughter was hardly ever reared.” A study based on inscriptions was able to reconstruct six hundred families and found that of these, only six had raised more than one daughter. In keeping with their Jewish origins, Christians condemned the exposure of infants as murder. As Justin Martyr (100–165) put it, “we have been taught that it is wicked to expose even new-born children…[for] we would then be murderers.” So, substantially more Christian (and Jewish) female infants lived.””

HT: http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2015/05/our-worldviews-influence-the-way-we-live.html

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