Difference between revisions of "Atheism and women"

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== Atheism and sexism  ==
== Atheism and sexism  ==
[[File:Atheist Dan Barker.jpg|thumbnail|right|175px|[[Dan Barker]] ]]
''See also:'' [[Atheism and rape]] and [[Elevatorgate]] and [[Western atheism and race]]
''See also:'' [[Atheism and rape]] and [[Elevatorgate]] and [[Western atheism and race]]

Revision as of 04:27, 24 February 2013

Studies and web traffic data appear to indicate that women in the Western World tend to be more religious than men.[1][2]

Recent studies concerning atheism and women

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.[3]

United States surveys

A 2008 study by Trinity College found that women are significantly more religious than men in America.[4] In 2007, the Pew Research Center found that American women were more religious than American men.[5]

Atheist PZ Myers' commentary concerning atheist meetings

In June of 2010, the atheist PZ Myers commented that atheist meetings tend to be significantly more attended by males.[6]

2010 New York Times description of 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...". [7]

Beliefnews report concerning 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.[8]

Prominent general atheist websites appear to receive significantly less traffic from women

The website run by the organization American Atheist has significantly less women trafficking their website according to Alexa and Quantcast.[9][10] The Internet Infidels website has significantly less woman trafficking their website according to Alexa and Quantcast.[11][12] The British Website New Humanist Magazine receives significantly less traffic from women according to Alexa and Quantcast.[13][14] Atheist Ireland also has significantly less women trafficking their website according to Alexa (there is no web traffic data from Quantcast).[15]

New Atheism websites appear to receive significantly less traffic from women

The four most prominent writers of the New Atheist movement are Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Daniel Dennett. Like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris has his own website. According to the website tracking firms Alexa and Quantcast women frequent the website of Samharris.org and richarddawkins.net significantly less than men.[16][17][18][19]


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

Atheism and sexism

See also: Atheism and rape and Elevatorgate and Western atheism and race

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]

For more information please see:

Atheism and Marriageability

see also: Atheism and marriage

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.[21][22] 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).[23] Also, interfaith marriages often have greater marital friction and interfaith marriages historically have had higher rates of divorce.[24] 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.[25]
Pitzer College sociologist Phil Zuckerman declared concerning 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."[26]

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

Atheism, marriage and suicide

See also: Atheism, marriage and suicide

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).[27]

Atheism and rape

See also: Atheism and rape and Atheist leaders and immoral relationships

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 Mariano Grinbank 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.[28]

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)"[29] (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.

Atheist Rebecca Watson and post Elevatorgate claim concerning harassment

See also: Elevatorgate and New Atheism

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".[30]

In addition, Watson declared: "It get regular rape threats. I get regular rape and murder threats".[31]

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'."[32] In addition, Richard Dawkins has a reputation for being abrasive.

See also:

Atheist leaders and immoral relationships

See also: Atheist leaders and 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.'[33]

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.[34]

For more information please see: Atheist leaders and immoral relationships


See also: Elevatorgate and Atheist leaders and immoral relationships

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.[35] 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.[36]

Rebecca Watson's post Elevatorgate 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.[37]

For more information please see: Elevatorgate

New Atheism movement and contention between men and women

See also: Abrasiveness of 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.[38][39] 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.

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

Atheism and women:

Atheist population:



  1. http://www.americanreligionsurvey-aris.org/reports/NONES_08.pdf
  2. http://www.livescience.com/culture/090227-religion-men-women.html
  3. Sex differences in global atheism, part N
  4. http://www.americanreligionsurvey-aris.org/reports/NONES_08.pdf
  5. http://www.livescience.com/culture/090227-religion-men-women.html
  6. http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/06/the_woman_problem.php
  7. New York Times, October 15, 2010
  8. http://blog.beliefnet.com/news/2011/01/atheists-diversity-woes-have-n.php
  9. http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/atheists.org
  10. http://www.quantcast.com/atheists.org
  11. http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/infidels.org
  12. http://www.quantcast.com/infidels.org
  13. http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/newhumanist.org.uk
  14. http://www.quantcast.com/newhumanist.org.uk
  15. http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/atheist.ie
  16. http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/samharris.org
  17. http://www.quantcast.com/samharris.org
  18. http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/richarddawkins.net
  19. http://www.quantcast.com/richarddawkins.net#demographics
  20. Why the New Atheism is a boys' club
  21. http://www.physorg.com/news199509031.html
  22. http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/6188
  23. http://www.gotquestions.org/household-salvation.html
  24. http://blogs.chron.com/believeitornot/2010/06/interfaith_marriages_more_like_1.html
  25. http://creation.com/atheism
  26. http://creation.com/atheism
  27. http://family.jrank.org/pages/1659/Suicide-Marital-Status-Family.html#ixzz1RJRmwSPF
  28. http://www.truefreethinker.com/articles/atheism-bible-rape-evilbiblecom-and-dan-barker-part-1-6
  29. http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=2333
  30. PZ Myers and the Art of Shameless Dishonesty
  31. FreeThoughtBlogs and PZ Myers
  32. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/7322177/Richard-Dawkins-in-bitter-web-censorship-row-with-fellow-atheists.html
  33. Atheist leaders and immoral relationships
  34. Atheist leaders and immoral relationships
  35. The Privilege Delusion by Rebecca Watson - Skepchick
  36. Sexism and the New Atheism
  37. http://atheism-analyzed.blogspot.com/2011/07/dawkins-drives-skepchick-into-feminism.html
  38. http://msmagazine.com/blog/blog/2010/11/01/will-new-atheism-make-room-for-women/
  39. David Silverman
  40. About Austin Cline