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Old 08-01-2013, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Downtown Raleigh
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Do you find it inaccurate to hold the proposition that women seem more easily swayed by emotional reasoning than men? If so, why?

Yes - because I haven't seen convincing evidence. And even though I'm a woman - - that's what I require.
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Old 08-01-2013, 04:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weltschmerz View Post
I know plenty of female atheists, but them, I live in a very secular society.
I do have a theory. Maybe women in other parts of the world hang on to religion more because they're more "connected" to their families and not because they're less analytical. Maybe the thought of not being with their children in the afterlife is more than they could bear.
Just a thought.
I would ask what, other than emotion, could drive a belief in the afterlife? As you've noted, the emotion of fear seems to be a causal factor.


My wording was poor in that original post. I obviously didn't take the time to thoroughly flesh out a good way to make the point. It's not that women have less ability to be analytical, it's more that they may tend to suppress that side of reasoning with emotion more often than men do. What you've noted here would tend to confirm that suspicion.
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Old 08-01-2013, 05:07 PM
 
Location: Downtown Raleigh
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What about willingness to "rebel" against 1) the beliefs one was indoctrinated with, or 2) the ways one was raised?
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Old 08-01-2013, 05:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roscomac View Post
Do you find it inaccurate to hold the proposition that women seem more easily swayed by emotional reasoning than men? If so, why?

Yes - because I haven't seen convincing evidence. And even though I'm a woman - - that's what I require.
And I've seen convincing evidence that causes me to think otherwise. But that's why only high-level studies and lots of data (which I'm not sure exists) could make either of our positions more then anecdotal. I'm not actually sure how you'd go about quantifying this.


Here's a couple things from wiki on emotional differences between women and men, both pro an con to our ideas. I picked out what I thought were the most salient points.

Quote:
When measured with an affect intensity measure, women reported greater intensity of both positive and negative affect than men. Women also reported a more intense and more frequent experience of affect, joy, and love but also experienced more embarrassment, guilt, shame, sadness, anger, fear, and distress. Experiencing pride was more frequent and intense for men than for women.[128] In imagined frightening situations, such as being home alone and witnessing a stranger walking towards your house, women reported greater fear. Women also reported more fear in situations that involved "a male's hostile and aggressive behavior" (281)[128] In anger-eliciting situations, women communicated more intense feelings of anger than men. Women also reported more intense feelings of anger in relation to terrifying situations, especially situations involving a male protagonist.[132] Emotional contagion refers to the phenomenon of a person’s emotions becoming similar to those of surrounding people. Women have been reported to be more responsive to this.

and

Associate Professor of Psychology Ann Kring said, "It is incorrect to make a blanket statement that women are more emotional than men, it is correct to say that women show their emotions more than men."
If the later is true, and women only tend to show their emotions more than men, then it might be just a perceptual issue I'm having. However, none of this really addresses whether women tend to rely more on emotion when coming to beliefs.
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Old 08-01-2013, 05:24 PM
 
354 posts, read 246,115 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roscomac View Post
What about willingness to "rebel" against 1) the beliefs one was indoctrinated with, or 2) the ways one was raised?
Are you asking this in terms that there may be different potential between the sexes to do these things? If so then...

IF men are typically more contentious, then I'd have to assume they'd be more likely to rebel against these things. I'm the only person in my family to openly reject god belief and my relatives are primarily female by a large percentage. It's small correlation for sure.
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Old 08-01-2013, 05:28 PM
 
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The reason for the disparity is due to womens greater need for community.

Women are more driven to seek & nurture community and family. The evolutionary reasons for this are obvious. Childbirth and child rearing require communal connection and security and females historicaly higher level of parental investment has shaped them genetically to be more community & family oriented. Their relative physical vulnerability is also a contributing evolutionary factor for this.

Organized religion offers a cooperative comunity structure. Atheism doesnt offer this and most atheists dont really care for it and tend to be relatively independent. Openly admitting lack of theistic belief has the risk of alienation from friends, family and (depending on ones geography) the larger community. This is a potential consequense that women have a greater aversion to.
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:03 PM
 
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I just reread this bit again and find it very telling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wiki
Emotional contagion refers to the phenomenon of a personís emotions becoming
similar to those of surrounding people. Women have been reported to be more
responsive to this.
Is not most religion about "emotional contagion"? You see this constantly in the mega-church experience. You see religion all the time use music (a mass emotional media) to ply their meme.
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:22 PM
 
Location: Downtown Raleigh
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I find it funny that so many among us who have rejected a non-evidenced-based explanation for things we do not currently understand are so willing to assign a non-evidence-based cause for the gender disparity in atheism, which we do not currently understand.
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:39 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOTaTHEIST View Post
This is a good place to start hanging myself again

First of all, I don't believe this has anything to do with raw intelligence. Let's get that out of the way. In fact, I would tend to generalize women as typically more intelligent than men. That said, raw intelligence is something that is extremely difficult to quantify. In my family however, the women tend to disregard reason and skepticism at a much higher rate than the men do, which is somewhat consistent because most of them compartmentalize with emotion.

Fifty years ago, this next statement would probably have been taken with a much worse degree of insult. I don't think people come to god belief (remember, that's what we're talking about in this thread) for rational reasons. Basically that leaves us with just emotional reasons for true belief. IF (big if) it's true women are more easily swayed by emotional reasons, then it stands they'd be more likely to accept a proposition which is entirely based on emotional reasoning.

Do you find it inaccurate to hold the proposition that women seem more easily swayed by emotional reasoning than men? If so, why? Understand this is a generalization and does not apply to every single instance in either subgroup. If it's true that it's easier to sway women with emotional reasoning based upon some innate biological trait, then the women who overcome god belief are exemplary individuals. And the ones who are open about it, even more so.



First of all, I don't think you're completely wrong here. I would say it a bit differently. Women probably are better at these things than men are. That's not saying all men can't accomplish these things nor all women will always accomplish these things better.

I heard this on the Bill Maher show the other night, it seems intuitively correct so I'll just run with it. What relationships do you think are most monogamous?

From most to least

Female homosexual
then
Heterosexual
then
Male homosexual

You throw men in the mix and what you've noted above seems to have lower chance of being successful.


It should be noted, that as a man, I'm not easily insulted. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever taken something as an insult. This probably had something to do with my poor choice of wording in the original post on this subject. I can see how the use of the two words I choose to describe emotion (touchy/feely) could be seen as a pejorative. For that I do apologize.
NOTaTHEIST while you have put yourself firmly in my good books with this comment ^ above
I think what you are doing is taking one female trait and running with it.

In the article cited in my last post, it states that 1.2% of American women identify as being atheist whereas 9.3% of British women identify as being atheist (though I'm certain the numbers are far higher). Are we saying then that American women are 8.1% more emotional than British women? Using your theory this would seem to be the case. Or would it be more sensible to assume that society / environment had more to do with it, America being, as we know, a far, far more religiously ingrained country?

I don't deny that women and men are different and it is possible that emotion (ie your emotional contagion theory) may have something to do with it but I think the link is far more tenuous than the link between belief and upbringing and being part of a community. Otherwise surely there would be an equal number of female atheists in both countries?
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:56 PM
 
9,412 posts, read 11,743,488 times
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Try telling people you're an atheist feminist. That really makes them foam at the mouth and consider you a spawn of satan. As for this women are more emotional nonsense, it's crap. Women have been and continue to be just as analytical as men in rejecting religious dogma. There are plenty of high profile women atheists but they are not part of the sexist old boys club that Dawkins runs.
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