Atheism and women

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Studies indicate that women in the Western World tend to be more religious than men.[1]

Surveys throughout the world and other data indicate that women are less inclined to be atheists.[2] [3]

In 2016, Atheist Alliance International (AAI) conducted an annually reoccurring atheist census project and found: "At the time of writing, the Atheist Census Project recorded that on average worldwide 73.2% of respondents were male. The result is consistent with other research... As such, the focus of many scholarly papers has been on seeking to explain this persistent observation."[4]


Recent studies concerning atheism and women

See also: Atheism and diversity

Surveys by country

In November of 2010, Discover Magazine published survey results published by the World Values Survey which showed significant differences between the percentage of men and women who are atheists for various countries with men outnumbering women in terms of adopting an atheist worldview. [5]

United States surveys

In 2015, BloombergView reported concerning the United States: "According to a much-discussed 2012 report from the Pew Research Center on Religion and Public Life, ...women are 52 percent of the U.S. population but only 36 percent of atheists and agnostics.[6]

A 2009 article in entitled Women More Religious Than Men reported: "A new analysis of survey data finds women pray more often then men, are more likely to believe in God, and are more religious than men in a variety of other ways...The latest findings, released Friday, are no surprise, only confirming what other studies have found for decades. [7] In 2007, the Pew Research Center found that American women were more religious than American men.[7]

Other Atheist Alliance International analysis

Oxford University Press reports about a previous study done by AAI:

...atheism remains a male-dominated affair. Data collected by the Atheist Alliance International (2011) show that in Britain, women account for 21.6% of atheists (as opposed to 77.9% men). In the United States men make up 70% of Americans who identify as atheist. In Poland, 32% of atheists are female, and similarly in Australia it is 31.5%[8]

Atheistic China and gender imbalance

China has the largest atheist population in the world.[9]

Due to sex-selection abortion and female infantcide, there is a gender imbalance within the Chinese population.

According to 2012 figures from the National Bureau of Statistics of the People's Republic of China, China’s sex ratio at birth (the number of boys born for every 100 girls) was as high as 118, while the sex ratio amongst the total population was about 105.[10] The statistical data from China indicates that the gap between male and female at birth is far larger than the biologically benchmark ratio (a sex ratio at birth of around 105 males per 100 females).[11]

Atheist meetings and women according to prominent atheists

The atheist PZ Myers giving a talk at George Mason University. In June of 2010, PZ Myers commented that atheist meetings tend to be significantly more attended by males.[3]

In June of 2010, the atheist PZ Myers commented that atheist meetings tend to be significantly more attended by males.[3] In October of 2012, the atheist Susan Jacoby wrote in The Humanist concerning atheist meetings: "When I speak before non-college audiences — that is, audiences in which no one is required to be there to get credit for a college course — 75 percent of the people in the seats are men."[12]

For more information, please see:

New York Times: Atheist meeting attendees

See also: Western atheism and race

In October of 2010, an atheists' meeting was organized in the United States concerning the future direction of the atheist movement and 370 people attended. The New York Times described the attendees as "The largely white and male crowd — imagine a Star Trek convention, but older...". [13]

Atheists' group membership and demographic makeup of meetings

In 2011, Beliefnetnews reported concerning the race and gender of American atheist:

From the smallest local meetings to the largest conferences, the vast majority of speakers and attendees are almost always white men. Leading figures of the atheist movement - Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Daniel Dennett -- are all white men.

But making atheism more diverse is proving to be no easy task.

Surveys suggest most atheists are white men. A recent survey of 4,000 members of the Freedom from Religion Foundation found that 95 percent were white, and men comprised a majority.[14]

Women and web traffic

The website Freethoughtblogs has significantly less women visiting their website than men according to the web traffic tracking company Quantcast.[15]


The above data suggest that atheism in general and the New Atheism movement is significantly less appealing to women in the Western World.

Atheist leaders and misogyny

See also: Atheism and sexism and Atheism and love and Atheism and rape

James Randi is a leader within the atheist community. Brian Thompson, former James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) Outreach Coordinator, wrote:

But I no longer identify with this community of benevolent know-it-alls, because not all of them are the best folks in the world. In fact, a good percentage of the top ten worst humans I’ve ever met are prominent members of the skeptics’ club. They’re dishonest, mean-spirited, narcissistic, misogynistic. Pick a personality flaw, and I can probably point you to someone who epitomizes it. And that person has probably had a speaking slot at a major skeptical conference.

I grew particularly disgusted with the boys’ club attitude I saw among skeptical leaders and luminaries. The kind of attitude that’s dismissive of women, sexually predatory, and downright gross. When I first started going to skeptical conferences as a fresh-faced know-it-all, I started hearing things about people I once admired. Then I started seeing things myself. Then I got a job with the JREF, and the pattern continued.[16]

Sexual harassment at atheist conferences

See also: Sexual harassment at atheist conferences and Elevatorgate and Atheist conferences

A 2011 portrait of Rebecca Watson

In an article about why she won't be attending an atheist conference sponsored by James Randi, Rebecca Watson wrote:

Over the past several years, I’ve been groped, grabbed, touched in other nonconsensual ways, told I can expect to be raped, told I’m a whore, a slut, a bitch, a prude, a dyke,..a twat, told I should watch my back at conferences, told I’m too ugly to be raped, told I don’t have a say in my own treatment because I’ve posed for sexy photos, told I should get a better headshot because that one doesn’t convey how sexy I am in person, told I deserve to be raped – by skeptics and atheists. All by skeptics and atheists. Constantly.

This is quite obviously not a safe space for me or for other women who want to be free of the gendered slurs and sexual threats and come-ons we experience in our day-to-day lives. But apparently, DJ thinks I am lying about that, since apparently my feeling that the freethought community is not a safe space is “misinformation.” I should apparently put on a smile and pretend it doesn’t happen, because by reporting on my treatment, I am creating “a climate where women — who otherwise wouldn’t — end up feeling unwelcome and unsafe.”[17]

For further information, see: James Randi Educational Foundation former staff member on prominent atheists and misogny

The Washington Post reported in 2012:

Other nontheists — both male and female — have shared stories of unwanted sexual attention at nontheist gatherings, including propositions for sex and unwelcome touching. Chatter has ranged from calls for more women to attend nontheist events to personal attacks on prominent female skeptics for discussing harassment...

The current hullabaloo can be traced to May’s Women in Secularism Conference, a first-of-its-kind gathering for nontheist women. On a panel examining feminism and nontheism, Jennifer McCreight, an atheist blogger, said women speakers at nontheist events warn each other privately about male speakers who make unwanted sexual advances.[18]

See also: Post-Elevatorgate anti-sexual harassment policies

Women, history and atheism

See also: History of atheism

In the 1770s, the French philosopher Paul-Henri Thiry observed a dearth of female atheists.[19] The English poet Edward Young (June 5, 1681 – April 5, 1765) wrote to satirically signal earthly apocalypse: "Atheists have been rare, since nature’s birth; Till now, she-atheists ne’er appear’d on earth."[19] In a letter written in the 1760s, the English essayist Bonnell Thornton wrote: "Good God! A Female Atheist! … One is not half so shocked at the idea of a Female Murderer; A Female Murderer, in the worse of senses, of her own children, of herself."[19] In 1813, the prominent doctor Thomas Cogan (founder of the Royal Humane Society) declared: "Men contemplate a female atheist with more disgust and horror than if she possessed the hardest features embossed with carbuncles."[19]

Atheism and sexism

See also: Atheism and sexism and Atheism and rape and Elevatorgate and Richard Dawkins and women and Atheist hypocrisy

Most atheists are politically on the left (see: Atheism and politics and Secular left). Part of leftist ideology is feminism. However, there is a significant amount of misogyny among atheists. See also: Atheist movement

Writing on the sexism within the atheist community, atheist Victoria Bekiempis wrote in a Guardian article entitled Why the New Atheism is a boys' club:

Annie Laurie Gaylor, who founded the Freedom From Religion Foundation with her mother, Anne Nicol Gaylor, in 1978, sums it up succinctly: “One word — sexism.” Gaylor’s husband, Dan Barker, who helms the organization along with her, is usually the one invited to speaking engagements, despite her longer tenure as the organization’s leader and her numerous books on atheism.[20]

Katie Engelhart in her July 21, 2013 Salon article Atheism Has a Women Problem wrote:

Around the time that the Dawkins-Hitchens-Harris tripartite published its big wave of Atheist critique, historian Jennifer Michael Hecht published “ Doubt” and journalist Susan Jacoby published “ Freethinkers“—both critically acclaimed. And yet, these women, and many others, failed to emerge as public figures, household names. “Nobody talked about [Doubt] as a ‘phenomenon,’” Hecht has noted. “They just talked about the book.” What gives?

The lady Atheist has a troubled history....[21]

Melody Hensley and harassment from atheist men

On May 15, 2014, the Washington Post reported that Melody Hensley, executive director of the Washington branch of the Center For Inquiry, was "diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after a vicious flood of online and social media attacks that included threats of rape, murder and photographs of dismembered women. Many of her harassers, she believes, are men in the secular community."[22]

For more information please see:

Irreligion and domestic abuse

Research suggests that irreligiousity is a causal factor for domestic violence.[23]

See also: Irreligion and domestic violence and Atheism and love and Atheism and loneliness

The abstract for the 2007 article in the journal Violence Against Women entitled Race/Ethnicity, Religious Involvement, and Domestic Violence indicated:

The authors explored the relationship between religious involvement and intimate partner violence by analyzing data from the first wave of the National Survey of Families and Households. They found that: (a) religious involvement is correlated with reduced levels of domestic violence; (b) levels of domestic violence vary by race/ethnicity; (c) the effects of religious involvement on domestic violence vary by race/ethnicity; and (d) religious involvement, specifically church attendance, protects against domestic violence, and this protective effect is stronger for African American men and women and for Hispanic men, groups that, for a variety of reasons, experience elevated risk for this type of violence.[23]

A higher rate of domestic violence exists among cohabiting couples as compared with married couples[24] Atheists have lower marriage rates than theists (see: Atheism and marriage and Atheist marriages).

A September 9, 2012 article at Atlantic Wire wrote about the noted atheist John Lennon:

But people have mostly forgotten that Lennon was also physically abusive towards women. "I used to be cruel to my woman," he said, citing the lyrics to "Getting Better" in a Playboy interview near the end of his life. "Physically—any woman. I was a hitter. I couldn't express myself and I hit. I fought men and I hit women." In his biography The Lives of John Lennon, Albert Goldman also maintains that Lennon was guilty of spousal abuse.[25]

For more information, please see: Irreligion and domestic violence

Secular Europe and domestic violence

See also: Secular Europe and domestic violence and Atheistic Sweden and rape

Sweden is one of the most atheistic countries in the world.[26] In Sweden, 81 percent of women said they had been harassed at some point after the age of 15 - compared to the EU average of 55 percent.[27]

In March of 2014, the Swedish news website The Local published an article entitled Sweden stands out in domestic violence study which declared:

A new EU review of violence against women has revealed that one in three European women has been assaulted, and one in twenty has been raped, with the Scandinavian countries at the top of the league tables.

In the Scandinavian countries, in contrast, around half of the women reported physical or sexual violence, which researchers at the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights said could have several explanations...

In Sweden, 81 percent of women said they had been harassed at some point after the age of 15 - compared to the EU average of 55 percent. After Sweden, which had the highest rate, Denmark, France, the Netherland and Finland all saw rates above 70 percent. The EU member state with the lowest rate - 24 percent - was Bulgaria.[27]

Sweden is one of the most atheistic countries in the world and the website reported that in 2005 46 - 85% of Swedes were agnostics/atheists/non-believers in God.[26] Sweden also has the 3rd highest rate of belief in evolution as far as Western World nations.[28]

See also: Atheistic Sweden and rape and Sexual immorality and Sweden

For more information, please see: Irreligion and domestic violence

Irreligion, alcoholism and domestic abuse

See also: Atheist Americans, gender and alcoholism

According to the World Health Organization, "Evidence suggests that alcohol use increases the occurrence and severity of domestic violence".[29]

A 2010 Scientific American column article indicates concerning domestic violence that "Women suffer close to two thirds of the injuries... In addition, women and men differ in the severity of their actions; women are more likely to scratch or slap their partners, men more commonly punch or choke their partners."[30]

Alcoholism was a serious social problem in the former atheistic Soviet Union.[31] Between 1940 and 1980, this atheist state had the largest increase of the amount of alcohol usage in the developed world.[32]

Atheists and atheistic societies often have significant problems with excess alcohol usage (For more information please see: Atheism and alcoholism).

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

Men are more likely than women to drink excessively. Excessive drinking is associated with significant increases in short-term risks to health and safety, and the risk increases as the amount of drinking increases. Men are also more likely than women to take other risks (e.g., drive fast or without a safety belt), when combined with excessive drinking, further increasing their risk of injury or death.

Approximately 63% of adult men reported drinking alcohol in the last 30 days. Men (24%) were two times more likely to binge drink than women during the same time period.

Men average about 12.5 binge drinking episodes per person per year, while women average about 2.7 binge drinking episodes per year.

Most people who binge drink are not alcoholics or alcohol dependent.

It is estimated that about 17% of men and about 8% of women will meet criteria for alcohol dependence at some point in their lives.[33]

Atheist women and sexuality

See also: Atheism and sexuality

Research indicates that religious women (especially evangelical/low church Protestant women) are more sexually satisfied than irreligious women.[34]

For more information, please see: Atheism and sexuality

Atheism and the sexual exploitation of women and children

The infamous pornographers Hugh Hefner and Larry Flynt are both atheists.[36]

In 2003, Arena magazine magazine listed Flynt as #1 on the "50 Powerful People in Porn" list.[37] Flynt is paralyzed from the waist down due to injuries sustained from a 1978 assassination attempt by the serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin.[38]

For more information, please see: Atheism and pornography

Barna Group study

The Barna Group found that atheists and agnostics in America were more likely, than theists in America, to look upon the following behaviors as morally acceptable: pornography; obscene sexual behavior; illegal drug use; excessive drinking; sexual relationships outside of marriage; abortion; cohabitating with someone of opposite sex outside of marriage and obscene language.[39]

For more information, please see: Atheism and pornography

Atheism and child pornography

See also: Atheism and child pornography

Historically, atheistic societies/individuals have played a significant role in the production and usage of child pornography (See: Atheism and child pornography).

Atheism and marriage

See also: Atheism and marriage and Atheism and love and Atheism and interfaith marriages and Atheist marriages and Atheism and loneliness

Studies indicate that atheists are a minority in the population. Studies also indicate that people tend to marry people with similar values or who resemble their parents or themselves.[40] In addition, the Bible teaches Christians not to marry a non-Christian (The Bible also teaches a believer to stay married to a non-believer if you are already married).[41] Also, interfaith marriages often have greater marital friction and interfaith marriages historically have had higher rates of divorce.[42] Therefore, it would not be surprising if atheist/theist marriages also have increased marital friction and higher rates of divorce since these two worldviews are so different.

Given that atheism appears to be significantly less appealing to women, atheists are a minority in the population and that people tend to marry people with similar values or who resemble their parents or themselves; this would suggest that male atheists may find it more difficult to find prospective female partners for marriage. And of course, militant atheism might make matters even more difficult.

Atheism and rates of marriage in the United States

Christian apologist Michael Caputo wrote:

Recently the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has published its mammoth study on Religion in America based on 35,000 interviews... According to the Pew Forum a whopping 37% of atheists never marry as opposed to 19% of the American population, 17% of Protestants and 17% of Catholics.[43]
Pitzer College sociologist Phil Zuckerman said this about suicide rates: "this is the one indicator of societal health in which religious nations fare much better than secular nations." Please see: Atheism and depression and Atheism and suicide

Vox Day declared that according to the 2001 American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) "more than half of all atheists and agnostics don’t get married."[43]

The atheist population has a higher suicide rate than theists (see: Atheism and suicide).

Atheism, marriage and suicide

See also: Atheism, marriage and suicide and Atheism and loneliness

The atheist population has a higher suicide rate than theists (see: Atheism and suicide). Also, as indicated above, atheists have lower marriage rates (see: Atheism and marriage).

According the website Marriage and Family Encyclopedia:

Marital status has a strong association with rates of completed suicide. Suicide rates are higher in the divorced and widowed than in single people, who in turn have higher suicide rates than married people. This protective effect of marriage on suicide is stronger for men than for women, although it is found for both men and women (Gove 1972).[44]

Atheism and rape

See also: Atheism and rape and Mass rape of German women by the Soviet army

Atheism offers no condemnation of rape and it provides no moral basis for a society to attempt to prevent and deter rape. Western atheists often assert there are no absolutes in morality and argue for moral relativism (see: Atheism and morality).

Commenting on Western atheism and rape, the Christian apologist Ken Ammi wrote:

When considering any and every atheist condemnation of any action whatsoever it is of primary importance to keep in mind that they are expressing personal opinions about the act(s) they are condemning. They are merely telling you their personal preferences in the form of morality borrowed from the Judeo-Christian worldview. They are piling unfounded assertion, upon unfounded assertion, upon unfounded assertion, and building a tel of arguments from outrage, arguments from personal incredulity, arguments for embarrassment, etc.[45]

Christian apologist Kyle Butt wrote: "In fact, in my debate with Dan Barker, Barker admitted that fact, and stated that under certain circumstances, rape would be a moral obligation (Butt and Barker, 2009)"[46] (see: Atheist Dan Barker Says Child Rape Could Be Moral).

TheAmazingAtheist is YouTube's most subscribed to YouTube channel produced by an atheist and as of February of 2012 it had over 280,000 subscribers. In 2012, he viciously told a rape victim "you deserved it" and told her that her rapist "deserved a medal". He also told her that she should try to relive the rape in her mind.

See also: Atheistic Sweden and rape

Mass rape during the occupation of Germany by the Soviet army

When told that Red Army soldiers sexually assaulted German refugees, the atheist Joseph Stalin reportedly said: "We lecture our soldiers too much; let them have their initiative."[47]

See also: Mass rape of German women by the Soviet army

The Soviet Union practiced state atheism and militant atheism. According to the University of Cambridge, historically, the "most notable spread of atheism was achieved through the success of the 1917 Russian Revolution, which brought the Marxist-Leninists to power."[48]

The journalist Peter Hitchens is the ex-atheist brother of atheist Christopher Hitchens and he covered the Soviet Union during its latter years before it collapsed. According to Peter Hitchens, an atheistic society degraded the morals of the Russian people during the Soviet period (see: Soviet Union and morality).[49]

As Allied troops entered and occupied Germany during the latter part of World War II, mass rapes occurred in connection with combat operations and during the occupation which followed. Historians in the Western World generally conclude that the majority of the rapes were committed by Soviet servicemen.

The majority of the rapes happened in the Soviet occupation zone. Estimates of the number of German women sexually assaulted by Soviet soldiers have ranged up to 2 million.[50] The historian William Hitchcock declared that in many cases women were the victims of repeated rapes, some women experienced as many as 60 to 70 rapes.[51]

After the atheist leader of the Soviet Union Joseph Stalin received a complaint from Yugoslav politician Milovan Djilas about rapes in Yugoslavia, Stalin reportedly said that he should "understand it if a soldier who has crossed thousands of kilometres through blood and fire and death has fun with a woman or takes some trifle."[52] Also, when told that Red Army soldiers sexually assaulted German refugees, Stalin reportedly declared: "We lecture our soldiers too much; let them have their initiative."[53]

Atheist Rebecca Watson's claims about sexual harassment

See also: Elevatorgate and New Atheism

Atheist Rebecca Watson

(photo obtained from Wikimedia commons, see: license agreement)

Post Elevatorgate controversy, at an atheist convention, Rebecca Watson claimed:

Hundreds of atheists have informed me that either they wanted to rape me, someone should rape me so that I will loosen up or that no one would ever rape me because I am so ugly".[54]

In addition, Watson declared: "I get regular rape threats. I get regular rape and murder threats".[55]

According to Rebecca Watson atheist women are often punished for being outspoken - particularly when they speak about feminism.[56] In August of 2013, Watson said the harassment she received from male atheists skyrocketed after Elevatorgate. [56] Furthermore, she said she still receives harassment from male fans of Richard Dawkins.[56] The atheist feminist Dr. Sikivu Hutchinson concurs with Watson and says that sexual harassment has been institutionalized within the atheist movement and that atheist men have an investment in censoring, controlling and policing women and also have an investment in "male privilege".[56]

The inappropriate behavior which was has been directed towards Rebecca Watson by atheists is not surprising. In February of 2010, the news organization The Telegraph reported Richard Dawkins was "embroiled in a bitter online battle over plans to rid his popular internet forum for atheists of foul language, insults and 'frivolous gossip'."[57] In addition, Richard Dawkins has a reputation for being abrasive.

See also:

Dawkins says Elevatorgate incident was rather trivial

David Silverman took feminist Rebecca Watson off the speakers list for the Reason Rally after Richard Dawkins objected to her speaking at the event.[58] See: Elevatorgate

On November 18, 2014, Richard Dawkins indicated that: he stands by his recent remarks about women/men relations, he feels muzzled by "thought police" and that Rebecca Watson's experience in the elevator was "rather trivial" compared to events some Muslim women experience.[59]

Specifically, the Washington Post reported on November 18, 2014:

“I don’t take back anything that I’ve said,” Dawkins said from a shady spot in the leafy backyard of one of his Bay Area supporters. “I would not say it again, however, because I am now accustomed to being misunderstood and so I will . “

He trailed off momentarily, gazing at his hands resting on a patio table.

“I feel muzzled, and a lot of other people do as well,” he continued. “There is a climate of bullying, a climate of intransigent thought police which is highly influential in the sense that it suppresses people like me.”

Recent criticism of Dawkins has come from women, many of them within the atheist movement, which has long drawn more men to its ranks. His online remarks, some women say, contribute to a climate they see as unwelcoming to female atheists...

“I concentrate my attention on that menace and I confess I occasionally get a little impatient with American women who complain of being inappropriately touched by the water cooler or invited for coffee or something which I think is, by comparison, relatively trivial,” he said.[59]

Atheism and the men's rights movement

The “men’s rights activist” subgroup on Reddit ran a survey of their membership, which found that a large majority (70%) of those responding to a poll identify as atheist/irreligious.[60] Activists in the men's rights movement have a history of acting surly, rude and aggressive.[61]

Atheism, women and romance novels

See also: Atheism and romance and Atheist romance novels

According to a Nielson study commissioned by the Romance Writers of America, in 2014, women made up 82% of romance book buyers.[62]

As of May 20, 2016, as far as books, has 32 search results for the term "atheist romance".[63] See also: Atheism and romance

Contrastly, as of May 20, 2016, as far as books, has 38,859 search results for the term "Christian romance".[64]


See also: Elevatorgate and Richard Dawkins and women and Atheist leaders and immoral relationships and Atheist hypocrisy

Richard Dawkins
The Oxford University Professor Daniel Came wrote to the agnostic Richard Dawkins: "The absence of a debate with the foremost apologist for Christian theism is a glaring omission on your CV and is of course apt to be interpreted as cowardice on your part."[65]

Elevatorgate is a term commonly used to describe a scandal involving Richard Dawkins' inappropriate comments made to fellow atheist Rebecca Watson. In 2011, Richard Dawkins was widely criticized within the atheist community plus criticized in various press outlets for his insensitive comments made to atheist Rebecca Watson about an incident which occurred in an elevator.[66] Specifically, Watson was propositioned after an atheist event in an elevator by a man who apparently was a fellow atheist during the early hours of the morning, and she was upset about the incident. Watson has written about widespread misogny within the atheist community, and she has received threats of rape.[67]

Rebecca Watson's commentary about atheist conferences

Rebecca Watson post Elevatorgate wrote at Slate about atheist conferences:

[W]omen started telling me stories about sexism at skeptic events, experiences that made them uncomfortable enough to never return. At first, I wasn’t able to fully understand their feelings as I had never had a problem existing in male-dominated spaces. But after a few years of blogging, podcasting, and speaking at skeptics’ conferences, I began to get emails from strangers who detailed their sexual fantasies about me. I was occasionally grabbed and groped without consent at events.

I started checking out the social media profiles of the people sending me these messages, and learned that they were often adults who were active in the skeptic and atheist communities. They were reading the same blogs as I was and attending the same events. These were “my people,” and they were the worst.[68]

For more information please see: Elevatorgate

New Atheism movement and male/female conflict

See also: Feminist quotes about Richard Dawkins

Within the militant New Atheism movement, there appears to be a significant amount of contention between men and women with complaints from women that there is a significant amount of misogny within the atheist community and its leadership is too heavily populated with men.[69] This may partly explain why Western atheism is less appealing to Western women. In addition, the significant amount of contention between men and women may apply to Western atheism as a whole. As noted earlier, Wired magazine made the observation that atheists tend to be quarrelsome, socially challenged men.

Atheist PZ Myers comment about Richards Dawkins' attitude towards women

See also: Richard Dawkins and women

In 2014, the prominent atheist PZ Myers said of New Atheist Richard Dawkins' attitude towards women: "At a time when our movement needs to expand its reach, it’s a tragedy that our most eminent spokesman has so enthusiastically expressed such a regressive attitude.”[70]

Sam Harris and charges of misogny

Like his fellow new atheist Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris has raised the ire of feminists.[71]

In 2014, Harris said that atheist activism lacks an “estrogen vibe” and was “to some degree intrinsically male”.[72]

On October 3, 2014, Salon magazine published an online article titled, "Atheism’s shocking woman problem: What’s behind the misogyny of Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris?"[73] On September 20, 2014, the feminist blogger Libby Anne wrote an article entitled "Is Sam Harris sexist?"[74] Atheist Sam Fincke wrote a piece entitled "On Sam Harris’s reply to feminist critics".[75]

In his defense, Harris published an article on his website titled, “I’m Not the Sexist Pig You’re Looking For”[76]

Atheist leaders and immoral relationships

After committing extramarital affairs and divorcing his wife, Richard Carrier decides to promote the idea of polyamory. See: Richard Carrier, adultery, divorce and polyamory

See also: Atheism, polyamory and other immoral relationships

On June 14, 2012, an article entitled Atheist leaders and immoral relationships published by an advocate of the Question evolution! campaign declared:

The website Submitted to a Candid World is written by an agnostic and the website was praised by the prominent atheist PZ Myers in the past.

On April 20, 2012 an article appeared in Submitted to a Candid World which declared:

'Several of my close friends — coincidentally, all extremely intelligent, math/science oriented, and leaders in the freethought/rationality/atheist communities — find themselves practicing and promoting an arrangement they term “polyamory.” Essentially, this describes a post-jealousy, highly rationalized state where participants date each other, and several others simultaneously.

In the ideal polyamorous relationship, one man is seriously “dating” several women, each of whom is in turn dating several men.'[77]

The article Atheist leaders and immoral relationships further declares:

Several leaders of the "freethought"/atheist community are practicing and promoting polyamory. This is not going to help the poor reputation that atheism already has among the public. The Mormons promoted bigamy for a while and later retracted their position due to the public outrage.

Of course, atheist leaders engaging in and promoting practices such as polyamory is one of the many reasons why atheism has such a bad reputation in the world.[77]

For more information please see: Atheism, polyamory and other immoral relationships

Godless China and gender discrimination

The New York Times reported: "According to corporate records examined by The New York Times, fewer than 1 in 10 board members of China’s top 300 companies are women. That measure, significantly smaller than the proportion of women on corporate boards in the United States..."[78]

See also: Godless China and gender discrimination

The current atheist population mostly resides in East Asia (particularly China) and in secular Europe/Australia primarily among whites.[79] See: Western atheism and race

The New York Times reported:

Chinese women are losing ground in the work force compared with men, their representation falling steadily with each rung up the professional ladder. Women make up 44.7 percent of the work force, but just 25.1 percent of people with positions of “responsibility,” according to China’s 2010 census.

At the very top, their share falls still further.

According to corporate records examined by The New York Times, fewer than 1 in 10 board members of China’s top 300 companies are women. That measure, significantly smaller than the proportion of women on corporate boards in the United States...

“Chinese law doesn’t define gender discrimination, so how do you even argue a case?” he asked. “It’s very, very difficult to get one into court.”

Companies need not bother with subtlety in job advertisements. A maker of security cameras seeks sales managers: No women need apply. A company that sells box cutters is looking for a human resources manager: male, age 25 to 35.[78]

Atheist community double standards: Muslim men misogyny vs. atheist men misogyny

See also: Atheist hypocrisy

In recent times, atheists have put in a lot of effort and focus into decrying the deplorable treatment of many Muslim women by Muslim men, yet the same degree of attention about the high amount of physical abuse atheist women endure at the hands of atheist men via domestic abuse and the other forms of abuse is not given nearly the same amount of import by many in the atheist community. See: Irreligion and domestic violence and Secular Europe and domestic violence.

For example, Ayaan Hirsi Ali was chosen to be the keynote speaker of the American Atheists convention in 2014 and in 2005 the secular left leaning Time magazine named her one of the most 100 influential people in the world.[80] Yet, the women who point out misogyny in Western World atheism receive torrents of abuse (see: Atheism and sexism) and are not highly lauded by the atheist community to nearly the same degree. See also: Atheist hypocrisy

Prominent atheists whose wives believe in the existence of God

See also: Prominent atheists whose wives believe in the existence of God and Atheism and marriage

Below is a list of prominent atheist who have wives that believe in the existence of God:

See also



External links


  1. Multiple references:
  2. Khan, Razib (November 18, 2010). "Gene expression; Sex differences in global atheism, part N". Discover magazine website.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Myers, P.Z. (June 29, 2010). "The woman problem". Pharyngula [blog].
  4. AAI Position Statement - Gender Balance
  5. Khan, Razib (November 18, 2010). "Gene expression; Sex differences in global atheism, part N". Discover magazine website.
  6. Carter, Stephen L. (March 27, 2015). "The atheism gap". BloombergView.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Britt, Robert Roy (February 28, 2009). "Women more religious than men". Live Science website.
  8. Atheism and Feminism, Oxford University Press blog
  9. National Bureau of Statistics of China, Beijing, China
  10. Poston, L. D., & Glover, S. K., Too many males: marriage market implications of gender imbalances in China, 2005
  11. Jacoby, Susan (August 16, 2012). "A woman’s place? The dearth of women in the secular movement". The Humanist website.
  12. Oppenheimer, Mark (October 15, 2010). "Atheists debate how pushy to be".
  13. MacDonald, G. Jeffrey (2011). "Atheists’ diversity woes have no black-and-white answers". Beliefnet.
  14. "" [demographics] Quαntcast.
  15. Myers, P. Z. (March 31, 2014). "When will this situation improve?".
  16. [Why I Won’t Be at TAM This Year]
  17. Do atheists have a sexual harassment problem?
  18. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 Engelhart, Katie (July 21, 2013). "From Hitchens to Dawkins: Where are the women of New Atheism?" Salon.
  19. Bekiempis, Victoria (Summer 2011). "Why the New Atheism is a boys' club". Bitch Magazine, no. 51. Retrieved from September 26, 2011 edition of The Guardian/CommentaryIsFree.
  20. Engelhart, Katie (July 21, 2013). "Atheism has a women problem". Salon. Retrieved from Alternet/Belief.
  21. Winston, Kimberly (May 15, 2014). "Women in secularism: Got a problem with that?" Religion News Service. Retrieved from The Washington Post website.
  22. 23.0 23.1 Ellison, Christopher L. et al. (November 2007). "Race/Ethnicity, Religious Involvement, and Domestic Violence". Violence Against Women, vol. 13, no. 11, pp. 1094-1112, doi:10.1177/1077801207308259. Retrieved from Sage Journals archive.
  23. Kenney, C. T. and McLanahan, S. S. (February 2006). [abstract of] "Why are cohabiting relationships more violent than marriages?" Demography, vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 127-40. Abstract retrieved from U. S. National Institute of Health/National Library of Medicine/National Center for Biotechnology Information/PubMed.
  24. Wagner, David (September 19, 2012). "John Lennon and Chris Brown have something in common". The Wire website.
  25. 26.0 26.1 "The largest atheist/agnostic populations: Top 50 countries with highest proportion of atheists / agnostics (Zuckerman, 2005)" (2005). religious communities.
  26. 27.0 27.1 Törnkvist, Ann (March 5, 2014, 8:34). "Sweden stands out in domestic violence study". The Local.
  27. Owen, James (August 10, 2006). "Evolution less accepted in U.S. than other Western countries, study finds [photo and caption]". National Geographic News.
  28. "World Health Organization Intimate Partner Violence and Alcohol Fact Sheet" (2005 or 2006). and Injury Prevention/Violence/Fact Sheets.
  29. Arkowitz, Hal and Lilienfeld, Scott O. (May-June 2010). "Are men the more belligerent sex? Men are more dangerous, but women can be just as aggressive". Mind. Retrieved from Scientific American website.
  30. Pomerlau, Joceline, et. al. (May-June 2008). "Hazardous alcohol drinking in the former Soviet Union: A cross-sectional study of eight countries". Alcohol and Alcoholism, vol. 43, no. 3, pp. 351-9. Retrieved from
  31. Anderson, Sandra C. and Hibbs, Valerie K. (October 1992). "Alcoholism in the Soviet Union" [first page]. International Social Work, vol. 35, no. 4, pp. 441-53 [fee or registration required for full article]. First page retrieved from Sage journals/International Social Work.
  32. "Excessive alcohol use and risks to men's health" (November 19, 2014). U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website/Alcohol and Public Health/Fact Sheets
  33. Multiple references:
  34. Multiple references:
    • Flynt writes, "I have left my religious conversion behind and settled into a comfortable state of atheism": see the epilogue of Flynt, Larry and Ross, Kenneth (June 1, 2008). An Unseemly Man: My Life as Pornographer, Pundit, and Social Outcast.
    • "I am not saying he don't believe in God. I am just saying I don't believe in God. That puts me at odds with him." "Larry Flynt and Jerry Falwell" [transcript] (January 10, 1996). Larry King Live. Transcript retrieved from
  35. Multiple references:
    • Gottesdiener, Laura (February 23, 2010). "10 celebs you didn't know were atheists". Salon.
    • Flynt writes, "I have left my religious conversion behind and settled into a comfortable state of atheism": see the epilogue of Flynt, Larry and Ross, Kenneth (June 1, 2008). An Unseemly Man: My Life as Pornographer, Pundit, and Social Outcast.
    • "I am not saying he don't believe in God. I am just saying I don't believe in God. That puts me at odds with him." "Larry Flynt and Jerry Falwell" [transcript] (January 10, 1996). Larry King Live. Transcript retrieved from
  36. "Larry Flynt" (2015 or bef.). One News Page/People.
  37. Multiple references:
    • Flynt, Larry and Ross, Kenneth (June 1, 2008). An Unseemly Man: My Life as Pornographer, Pundit, and Social Outcast, pp. 170–171.
    • "Larry Flynt" (2015 or bef.). One News Page/People.
  38. "Practical outcomes replace biblical principles as the moral standard" (September 10, 2001). Barna Update.
  39. Multiple references:
  40. "What does the Bible say about household salvation?" (2007 or bef.) gotQuestions?org website.
  41. Shellnutt, Kate (June 14, 2010). "Interfaith marriages more likely to fail". [Houston]/Believe It or Not blog.
  42. 43.0 43.1 Ammi, Ken (June 11, 2009). "Atheism". Creation Ministries International. Retrieved on July 19, 2014.
  43. Ponzetti, James J., ed. (2003). "Suicide—marital status and the family". International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family (New York: MacMillan), p. 1599. Retrieved from JRank Marriage and Family Encyclopedia/Suicide.
  44. Ammi, Ken (2010 or bef.). "Atheism, the Bible, rape, and Dan Barker". True Freethinker website.
  45. Butt, Kyle, M.A. (2010). "God did not condone rape". Apologetics Press website.
  46. Roberts, Andrew. "Stalin's army of rapists: The brutal war crime that Russia and Germany tried to ignore", Daily Mail, 24 October 2008. 
  47. "History: 20th Century History: Marxism". Investigating Atheism. University of Cambridge (2008). Retrieved on July 17, 2014. “The most notable spread of atheism was achieved through the success of the 1917 Russian Revolution, which brought the Marxist-Leninists to power. For the first time in history, atheism thus became the official ideology of a state.” See University of Cambridge.
  48. Statham, Dominic (September 6, 2011). "Britain needs God". Creation Ministries International website.
  49. Multiple references:
    Heineman, Elizabeth (1996). "The hour of the woman: Memories of Germany's 'crisis years' and West German national identity". American Historical Review, vol. 101, iss. 2, pp. 354-395 reprinted in Schissler, Hanna, editor (2001), The Miracle Years: A Cultural History of West Germany, 1949–1968 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press), ch. 1, p. 28. Preview retrieved from GoogleBooks archive.

    Kuwert, P.; Freyberger, H. (2007). "The unspoken secret: Sexual violence in World War II". International Psychogeriatrics 19 (4): 782–784. doi:10.1017/S1041610207005376. 

    Remme, Tilman (2007). "World Wars: The battle for Berlin in World War Two". History. Retrieved on 10 December 2014.

    Westervelt, Eric (17 July 2009). "Silence broken on Red Army rapes in Germany". Retrieved on 10 December 2014.
  50. Hitchcock, William I. (2004). The Struggle for Europe: The Turbulent History of a Divided Continent, 1945 to the Present. Anchor Books. ISBN 978-0-385-49799-2. 
  51. Applebaum, Anne (October 2012). Iron Curtain, The Crushing of Eastern Europe (New York, NY: Knopf Doubleday), p. 32.
  52. Roberts, Andrew. "Stalin's army of rapists: The brutal war crime that Russia and Germany tried to ignore", Daily Mail, 24 October 2008. 
  53. "PZ Myers and the art of shameless dishonesty" (July 5, 2012). YouTube video, 6:32, posted by Thunderf00t.
  54. "FreeThoughtBlogs and PZ Myers" (July 13, 2012). YouTube video, 15:41, posted by Thunderf00t.
  55. 56.0 56.1 56.2 56.3 "Calling all female atheists" (August 6, 2013). HuffPost Live video, 25:35.
  56. Blake, Heidi (February 26, 2010). "Richard Dawkins in bitter web censorship row with fellow atheists". [U.K.] Telegraph website.
  57. Sarah (September 5, 2013). "My time with Richard Dawkins (or, Why you should never meet your idols)". Skepchick website. See Skepchick.
  58. 59.0 59.1 Winston, Kimberly (November 18, 2014). "Richard Dawkins stands by remarks on sexism, pedophilia, Down syndrome" Religion News Service syndicated to the Washington Post.
  59. Lee, Adam (May 5, 2014). "Facing up to atheism’s MRA problem" Patheos/Daylight Atheism blog
  60. Multiple references:
  61. Romance Reader Statistics
  62. Atheist romance - Amazon
  63. Amazon - Christian romance
  64. Ross, Tim (May 14, 2011). "Richard Dawkins accused of cowardice for refusing to debate existence of God". The Daily Telegraph website. Retrieved July 25, 2014. See Daily Telegraph.
  65. Multiple references:
  66. Watson, Rebecca (July 5, 2011). "The privilege delusion". Skepchick website.
  67. Sparrow, Jeff (October 26, 2012). "Sexism and the new atheism". CounterPunch website.
  68. Multiple references:
  69. Lee, Adam (September 18, 2014). "Richard Dawkins has lost it: Ignorant sexism gives atheists a bad name". The Guardian.
  70. Multiple references:
  71. Tomlinson, Heather (September 17, 2014). "Atheist writer Sam Harris faces backlash over 'estrogen vibe' comments". Christianity Today website/Society.
  72. Marcotte, Amanda (October 3, 2014). "Atheism’s shocking woman problem: What’s behind the misogyny of Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris?" Alternet website reprinted at Salon website.
  73. Libby Anne (September 20, 2014). "Is Sam Harris sexist?". Patheos/Love, Joy, Feminism blog.
  74. Fincke, Daniel (September 16, 2014). "On Sam Harris’s reply to feminist critics". Patheos/Camels with Hammers blog.
  75. Harris, Sam (September 15, 2014). “I’m not the sexist pig you’re looking for”. Sam Harris website.
  76. 77.0 77.1 15 questions for evolutionists (June 14, 2012). "Atheist leaders and immoral relationships". Blogspot/Question Evolution! Campaign.
  77. 78.0 78.1 Tatlow, Didi Kirsten and Forsythe, Michael (February 20, 2015). "In China’s modern economy, a retro push against women". New York Times
  78. Fisher, Max and Dewey, Caitlin (May 23, 2013). "A surprising map of where the world’s atheists live". The Washington Post website.
  79. Multiple references:
  80. "David Silverman" (May 2006 or bef.) MasterMedia Speakers Bureau.
  81. Harris, Tracie (March 2008). "About Austin Cline". Austin Atheist, vol. 1, iss. 9, p. 2. Retrieved from Atheist Community of Austin website.