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Old 09-12-2013, 07:09 AM
 
Location: Wilsonville, OR
1,262 posts, read 1,870,884 times
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Here's an interesting and properly conducted study:

Men And Women's Differences Aren't Actually Distinct, Confirms Study

Quote:
Carothers and Reis reanalyzed the data from 13 previous studies, all of which had shown significant social differences between men and women. Overall, they compiled data on over 13,000 individuals -- including a sample of 109 men and 167 women from a university psychology class which the researchers surveyed themselves -- and looked at 122 different characteristics. They examined everything from physical strength and sexual attitudes to academic preferences, mate selection criteria and major personality traits, and ran the data through three different statistical procedures, looking for characteristics that could reliably indicate whether an individual was a man or a woman. Turns out, there aren't many.
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:43 AM
 
16,105 posts, read 17,919,494 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOTaTHEIST View Post
I might add, this is the first time I've actually heard people complain about misogyny in the atheist movement. It is actually news to me as I've little exposure to this movement aside from listening to the "Atheist Experience" and the Austin, Texas community it is a part of. From what I've heard from them in particular, they're very women friendly and the women that represent them are simply outstanding examples.
So you missed the big Greta Christina flap and Dawkins responses to her?

and this article?
Why We Need to Keep Fighting » Greta Christina's Blog

Quote:
You don’t get to have it both ways. You don’t get to be inspired and motivated by my uncompromising rage about religion… and then tell me that my uncompromising rage about sexism and misogyny in the atheist movement is divisive, distracting, sapping energy from the important business of atheist activism. You don’t get to cheer me on for being such a badass when I stand up fiercely against religion in society… and then scold me for being a bad soldier when I stand up fiercely against sexism and misogyny within the atheist movement. You don’t get to applaud my outspoken fearlessness when I demand that social and political and economic systems be made safe and welcoming for atheists, and when I point out the ways in which they are not… and then call me a divisive, attention-hungry professional victim when I demand that atheist groups and organizations and events be made safe and welcoming for women, and point out the ways in which they are not.
Seriously, while religion as a whole is generally more sexist, that does not excuse what happens to women who speak out in the atheist movement.

Dawkins, btw, seems to be in denial about his own sexual abuse and its effects on him.

RDFRS: Dawkins under attack for his lenient view of

I understand his viewpoint to an extent, but for him to say that he and his classmates were not harmed by the *mild* touching they experienced is a bit arrogant unless he has spoken to all of them.
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Wilsonville, OR
1,262 posts, read 1,870,884 times
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If someone thinks misogyny doesn't exist in the atheist community, they should really look into the whole "Elevatorgate" debacle. That more than anything really exposed how bad the problem is.
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:16 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
3,534 posts, read 2,452,165 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOTaTHEIST View Post
It seems to me that women, in general, are more touchy/feely creatures and men are more analytical. Religion and god belief are generally held because of emotions, and I propose that women are typically more susceptible to this type of thing for biological reasons.


It would make an interesting study determining if this suspicion was true, and that there is a disproportionate number of male to female atheists as represented in the population at large.
Hmmm my suspicion tells me that this might be true on some level but as a woman agnostic atheist who thinks more like a man (so I've been told) it's really hard for me to say.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
I wonder how you could actually quantify this. I hang out on several boards that are primarily women atheists who happen to be parents. We often talk about raising children without religion since we are concerned about the proselytizers and our relatives who happen to want to convert our children to their religious view. A lot of these moms live in the south and are closeted atheists because of the social stigmas that result from coming out as atheist (we don't want our kids ostracized by their playmates, for example).
I think you hit the nail on the head..........there's probably a lot of agnostic/atheist women in the South who are closeted for the reasons you mentioned. I live in the deep south and I'm still closeted for the most part. I know of no other agnostic/atheist women but I haven't really ventured into other areas yet since I have a full plate most of the time. There doesn't seem to be much out there anyway except a church on every corner ergo the problems southern women run into about being completely honest. It's kind of a catch-22 situation, damned if you do damned if you don't (no pun intended) so until the southern gang decides to be more vocal I guess we'll never really know what the ratio of women to men atheists is.
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX
1,418 posts, read 1,871,993 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOTaTHEIST View Post
Kind of figured I'd get a comment about this sooner actually.



No insulted was intended, sorry if you took it that way. It should be noted I stated "in general" and certainly not "all". It's simply an inference drawn from experience and different facts. I'd be the first to admit I could be wrong, although the recent study being listed in this thread tends to confirm my suspicion.

I think it goes without saying that men and women have different, innate biological advantages and disadvantages. Men generally have greater muscle mass, making them better at heavy physical tasks. Women typically are much better at multitasking while men tend to do better at single focused tasks. It also seems that typically women are more driven by emotions than men (this can be judged either negatively or positively from either persepective). There seems to be evidences to suggest there are evolutionary reasons for these differences. This isn't meant to be disparaging, only an observation.
No. Men are just "as emotional" but about different things. Anger is an emotion. Passion about winning a sports game (enough to set things on fire or start a bar fight) is an emotion. It is just that we are conditioned to see male 'emotions" as legitimate and women's as unreasonable or less rational.
Men are driven at work, in love, and in sport by emotions...just the same as women are.
I believe you did not mean to be disparaging.
But you did not make a truly logical statement.
You allowed "everybody thinks that way" to cloud your judgement on women...even if you don't allow it to cloud your judgement on religion.
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Old 09-15-2013, 04:15 PM
 
Location: kS.
505 posts, read 477,890 times
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I would tend to agree with social reasons (specifically family structure) over biological if what I read the other day has some truth to it.
I found a piece of paper yesterday in the alley behind my back yard whilst hacking weeds. It contained notes someone somewhere was taking on the subject of atheism. The name mentioned in the notes was Lee Strobbel, whom I have seen on various TV programs such as John Ankerberg,etc... Strobbel, if I remember correctly was once an atheist who converted to Christianity at some point or another.
The highlight of the notes stated that a major factor in one choosing atheism can SOMETIMES result from childhood and in particular, a strained relationship to the child's father. I'm guessing male children have experienced this far more than female children, possibly due to the male need to dominate, run things. This makes sense to me- the father/son relationship can turn into a power struggle at times when hormones rage and adolesents feel the need to be more independent. I would guess this happens also with the mother/daughter relationship but since the father of the family (historically) reperesents the authority figure, the father/son relationship would be affected the most. Thus, if true, there would be more male atheists than female.
It may be a subconscious decision for more males to transfer a strained or sometimes even hostile relationship to their biological father over to God, who represents the epitomy of authority and power. Just guessing here.
If you wish to pursue this line of thought I believe Strobbel has a web site of his own though I don't know the address.
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Old 09-15-2013, 04:53 PM
 
16,105 posts, read 17,919,494 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joint heir with jesus View Post
If you wish to pursue this line of thought I believe Strobbel has a web site of his own though I don't know the address.
Lee Strobel is not a credible source at all.

The Case Against Lee Strobel | Evaluating Christianity

Quote:
And if you’ve ever heard Strobel speak, you know he milks this angle for all it’s worth. “I ask the tough questions,” claims Strobel.

My point in this post is simply that Strobel’s rhetoric does not match reality; the Vardaman example shows this beyond a shadow of a doubt. Is it conceivable, in the least, that Strobel asked even one moderately difficult question here? (Let me offer a suggestion: “Hey, can I see your magic coin with the invisible letters?” — that would have been a nice starting point!)

Of course not.

The Vardaman example shows exactly the kind of approach Strobel takes to these “interviews.” They are not the “critical” “hard-hitting” questions of a “cynical” journalist — they are the exact opposite; they’re uncritical, unquestioning, sycophantic suck-ups to people who share only the very narrow ideological point Strobel wants to advance in the first place.

Now, I guess people enjoy Strobel’s one-sided “journalism” — where he asks the easiest, most leading questions of cherry-picked experts who support (but do not oppose) his narrow view of the supposed “evidence.” Strobel is certainly a very wealthy man; he’s sold millions of books and has his own TV show. But I find him to be thoroughly disingenuous.
Review of Lee Strobel THE CASE FOR CHRIST

Quote:
In light of Strobel's frequent reminders that he used to be a hard-nosed, skeptical journalist, I skimmed the table of contents and index to see which critics of Christianity he interviewed. In so doing, I discovered a glaring deficiency in Strobel's journalism: Strobel did not interview any critics of Christian apologetics, even though he attacks such individuals in his book.[2] For example, Strobel devotes an entire chapter to his interview of Greg Boyd (an outspoken faultfinder of the Jesus Seminar), yet Strobel never interviewed a single member of the Jesus Seminar itself! Likewise, he repeatedly criticizes Michael Martin, author of Case Against Christianity, but he never bothered to get Martin's responses to those attacks.[3] This hardly constitutes balanced reporting on Strobel's part; indeed, on this basis, one is tempted to dismiss the entire book.
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Old 09-16-2013, 07:12 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,094,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joint heir with jesus View Post
The highlight of the notes stated that a major factor in one choosing atheism can SOMETIMES result from childhood and in particular, a strained relationship to the child's father. I'm guessing male children have experienced this far more than female children, possibly due to the male need to dominate, run things. This makes sense to me- the father/son relationship can turn into a power struggle at times when hormones rage and adolesents feel the need to be more independent. I would guess this happens also with the mother/daughter relationship but since the father of the family (historically) reperesents the authority figure, the father/son relationship would be affected the most. Thus, if true, there would be more male atheists than female.
That is an interesting theory, although it breaks down in my case. My father and I had a very good and respectful relationship and I miss him (he died > 10 years ago). Unlike my relationship with god, which was one-way, it was a rich, conversational, two-way relationship. Unlike god, my father fulfilled his promises and did what he said he would do. He was loved by people for what he did rather than what he promised to do, largely on a deferred basis in another life.

So in my case, an armchair psychiatrist could say that my atheism is due to having a very GOOD earthly father whose example caused my heavenly father to suffer by comparison. My Dad certainly set the gold standard for me, thats true ;-)

In reality I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. Christianity is largely based on father imagery and father-respect memes. One's heavenly father is supposed to be in control of things that exceed the abilities of earthly fathers. If your earthly father was a good example of fatherliness, you'll be inclined to transfer that respect to god, but the flip side is that if god then doesn't nurture, protect and guide you as well, you will harbor serious doubts about the alleged equivalency. On the other hand if your earthly father was a bad example of fatherliness, it's true that you'd be less likely to be impressed with yet another father, only more powerful and therefore a bigger butt-hole.

So I wouldn't be willing to say that atheists tend to be poorly fathered sons with daddy issues, I would simply say that they tend to be unimpressed with fatherhood as a reason to embrace theism. And that there are exceptions like myself that prove that -- the key Bible verse that took me down after I became a father myself was, "If you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your father which is in heaven give good things to those who ask him?" My deconversion was based on an answer to that rhetorical Biblical question other than what was implied by the context.

None of this, of course, explains my wife, the lifelong unbeliever who just doesn't even begin to see the value proposition, yet resists the socially limiting label "atheist" even though, when I press her, she admits she absolutely does not believe in any god. Her father was remote and unavailable, her mother died young, and she grew up largely feral. But I sense her disinterest goes back to the cradle, it seems baked in. There are a number of such people on this forum and I suspect their relationship to their fathers are of all possible varieties.

This all reminds me of the theory, popular when I was growing up in the latter half of the 20th century, that people are gay because of defects in their relationship with their fathers, when in fact, it turned out to have nothing in particular to do with that at all.

At the end of the day, atheists see no evidence for god, quite independent of whether a father figure or metaphor is involved. Many gods, after all, are not father figures. And remember that atheism covers them all, not just BibleGod or DeistGod or LiberalChristianGod.
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:36 PM
 
Location: Dix Hills, NY
120 posts, read 102,319 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
So you missed the big Greta Christina flap and Dawkins responses to her?

and this article?
Why We Need to Keep Fighting » Greta Christina's Blog



Seriously, while religion as a whole is generally more sexist, that does not excuse what happens to women who speak out in the atheist movement.
THANK YOU FOR LINKING THIS! Greta Christina is amazing, and this is probably my favorite post of hers so far.

Quote:
Dawkins, btw, seems to be in denial about his own sexual abuse and its effects on him.

RDFRS: Dawkins under attack for his lenient view of

I understand his viewpoint to an extent, but for him to say that he and his classmates were not harmed by the *mild* touching they experienced is a bit arrogant unless he has spoken to all of them.
I can actually accept that Dawkins was largely unharmed by his experience. I'm all about allowing victims to figure out things for themselves, and if Dawkins was largely undeterred by it, that's pretty awesome.

What pisses me off is his assumption that his fellow peers were similarly unaffected, and the undercurrent of "legitimate rape" in his comments... all but calling it "mild".

Now, I will grant that it's not objectively as bad as actual penetration. It's easy to make such a claim when having a "rational discussion" about things like rape. The problem is, when you're trying to be rational about an inherently emotional form of trauma, you, whether you intend to or not, marginalize those victims. You cannot have "rational discussions" about the very emotional tolls these things take on victims.

And I'm not just talking about rape, of course. I'm talking about attempted (or even successful) murder (if successful, I'm talking about the witnesses and family members/loved ones of the murdered person/people), muggings, non-sexual assaults, etc.

You don't get to tell victims how they're supposed to handle their experiences. Each victim is allow to handle what happened to them in whatever way is best for them.

When you try to be all "rational" about it, you're not helping; you're marginalizing how they feel. And that only serves to re-victimize them.

It has been insanely hard to read some of my favorite blogs these days. I cannot tell you how many bloggers have come out about being raped and/or harassed, and why they reacted how they did. There's at least one post by a rape victim basically being forced by police to "admit to lying"... even tough this person telling the truth; similar stories were revealed in the comments (which, BTW, means that 6%-false-rape-reports statistic is actually inflated... by a lot; that means that actual cases of false reports of rape are even less than 6%... possibly way less). It's been depressing as hell.

You also have Ashley Paramore, who at least was treated well by TAM. But then you have Karen Stollznow, who's complaints of stalking and harassment went ignored by JREF and CFI for years, despite all of the evidence she had for it... and her husband, among others, has confirmed this.

Not too mention the accusations (now more than one, BTW) against Shermer...

Dawkins own revelation was sad. And I'm quite awed that he was able to rationalize it away so easily and come away largely unharmed. But to suggest... in any way... that everyone should react that way... and that there's such a thing as "mild pedophilia" (shades of "legitimate rape", if you ask me)... is what so many of us are angry about.

BTW... there's a timeline of these issues in the atheist/skeptic "community" (as it were)... if anyone's interested)
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Old 11-02-2013, 10:59 PM
 
Location: Boise, ID
8,043 posts, read 23,755,458 times
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I just discovered this thread today, so I'm giving it a bump with my thoughts.

I'm a liberal, feminist, atheist woman with a very left brain bias, as my degree in Physics will attest. Even with that being the case, I have to agree with NOTaTHEIST in the observation that women tend to be more emotional (right brained) on average and men tend to be more logical (left brained) in their methods of approaching a question/situation/problem. Not all, but definitely more than a random chance (which would generate an equal number of left brained and right brained men and the same with women). As others have said, that doesn't mean that women are less capable of being rational, or men have fewer emotions, but it does have an effect on the way women and men behave.

So I think that does play a part in there being fewer women atheists than men, if in fact, there really are fewer. But maybe it isn't that there are fewer women atheists, maybe it is partly just that there are fewer "out" women atheists.

It seems logical (haha) to me that women, even in today's society, would be less likely to voice an opinion outside of the generally accepted norm for the area. We are still within a lifespan of a time when women were expected to do as their husbands told them, and not to have opinions of our own. While we have left that behind us, it is still near enough to have an effect on our subconscious minds. Whereas men have voiced their opinions for all of history, so are more likely to be willing to go against the grain. So while very non-religious areas (like Britain) might have higher numbers of "out" women atheists, areas like the deep south in the US might have many fewer. (Someone mentioned that there are fewer people of color who are atheists in the US, and this could be a factor for that as well, if true). I think it is fairly obvious that as we get farther and farther from the 1950s and 60s, and a higher percentage of people are alive who DIDN'T live through that time, the gender/race gap will continue to close more and more on not just this, but all topics.

In the long run, I don't think it is a simple question with only one answer. Like most important things in life, it is far more complex than we currently understand. Ask 10 people, get 10 different answers, ALL of which may be part of the truth.
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