Saturday, February 21, 2009

Another sex difference -- the way we sin

According to a recent report from the Vatican, men and women sin differently. See Vatican study shows how sexes differ on the seven deadly sins .

The report is based on a study of confessions carried out by Father Roberto Busa, a 95-year-old Jesuit scholar. I suppose, being too old to actually sin himself, Fr. Busa decided to begin cataloguing other people's sins. The Pope's own personal theologian backs up the report in L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, so it must be a pretty good study. The study examines how frequently men and women confess to engaging in the traditional seven deadly sins announced by St. Gregory the Great in the late 6th century: lust, gluttony, sloth, greed, anger, envy and pride.

It turns out that we didn't really need a study to tell us how men sin. Lust was number one for men, followed by gluttony and sloth. Duh.

The sins of women (being the more complicated sex) are less predictable: pride, followed by envy and anger. Gluttony and sloth are at the bottom of women's sinning preferences (well, nothing too surprising there).

I suspect that the high levels of anger in women are due in part to the amount of sloth committed by men.

And let me make a plug for my own sex. St. Gregory ranked the seven deadly sins based on the degree the sins offended the command of love. Under his ranking, lust, the principal male sin, offended love the least, while pride, the female sin of choice, violated love the most. We men may be fat, lazy lechers, but we haven't lost our sense of humanity.

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