Many questions there Meg - won't answer them all (gotta leave some fodder for the others :D) - take a sample and look at them.
Far as the tikes (catholics) voting on whether women have souls, like everything else in catholicism, it was misogynistic and ultimately about control and fear. The catholics DESPISE women because they are TERRIFIED of women. Recall, according to the so-called 'fall' story in genesis, it is WOMAN who takes of the 'forbidden fruit' and thereby causes adam to fall - therefore it is WOMEN who are to blame for all the sin in the world. But of course that doesn't serve the interests of a male-dominated church does it? *scoffs*
Far as religion's impact of the development of mankind goes the stifling effect of religion is staggering - religion is about power and control lubricated by fear and loathing. Religion creates, indeed thrives on, fear and self-hatred. To paraphrase a line from Pat Condell clergy don't want you looking into your heart, because that's where the bullshit detector is. So they monger self-hatred, despite (to borrow from Monty Python) 'blessed is anyone with a vested interest in the status quo' - essentially blessed are all. But who needs that? Who needs people actually having an iota of self-worth? Sure as hell not clergy - why - they'd be out of a job
Far as god made into a man I'm always amused by this - god sacrificed himself to himself in order to appease himself so he wouldn't meat out this massive 'punishment' that he has in mind for man because he chose to think for himself and not submit to and obey the self-serving hypocrites that call themselves clergy...sorry - got a little carried away there lol :D
Hope this helps (hell if you've read to here I reckon you've done well lol)