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Malleus Maleficarum, 1484

Other again have propounded other reasons why there are more superstitious women found than men. And the first is, that they are more credulous; and since the chief aim of the devil is to corrupt faith, therefore he rather attacks them... He that is quick to believe is light-minded, and shall be diminished. The second reason is, that women are naturally more impressionable, and more ready to receive the influence of a disembodied spirit; and that when they use this quality well they are very good, but when they use it ill they are very evil.

Sprenger, Jakob, and Heinrich Institoris. Malleus Maleficarum. Speyer: Peter Drach, 1491. Print.

What common misconception about gender does this excerpt demonstrate?


Women lacked the same access to education, but were believed to be more intellectually able than men.


Women were more apt to believe what they were told.


The devil did not prefer women to men.


Men were trying to keep women out of the church.

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