Women in the atheism community, or lack thereof

Hello! I am a member of Freethought Fort Wayne, a small but rapidly growing freethought community in Fort Wayne, Indiana. We are pleased with our member base, but we are concerned about one thing: we don't have very many women. For the most part, we seem to fit the stereotype of the angry white 30-something male atheist.

Can anyone comment on this? Are women less prone to be atheists, or at least to actively engage in a community of atheists and secular humanists? I'd love to get someone's take on it -- maybe even — GASP — a woman. (-:

Tags: atheism, community, demographics, freethought, marketing, women

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That last part I'll definetely agree with, in my own experience women have been much more hostile. I've never had a man question my morality or treat me like I was evil incarnate, but I have had several women who I had considered friends do just that when they've asked me about my religious views (something I generally don't even bring up).

As for the rest of it I'm really not sure. I see how you're drawing those conclusions about women, but I'm not convinced men are any different. Essentially you're arguing that men are more brave than women, or that we're simply more calloused and less caring. Personally, I don't see that as being true.

As for happy endings, as a line from one of my favorite songs goes: "Though endings are never ever happy, its the happy moments along the way that in the end make it OK." Those are words I imagine most atheists live by, male or female.
A lot of the women in the U.K are either atheist or agnostic by default. Maybe they went to church as a kid or at school, but don't really care. I do have one that's obsessed with zodiacs, psychics and palm readers.....
She was really excited to learn that I could read tarot. She was more excited to learn that there is a pamphlet that comes with your cards that tells you how to do so. No closing your eyes or channeling involved.. you just memorize what the cards mean. :)

After living in various places around the world including Salt Lake City, I have to say that most particular brands of crazy are pretty evenly spread through the sexes. Woman do lean towards mysticism more...but to be a good upstanding CHRISTIAN, there has to be a male head of household leading the family spiritually.

At least in the big three Abrahamic religions, men have more to gain out of it, anyway. That would be the first good reason as to why it's continued to progress.
First, welcome to T|A, Rebecca. :)

Good luck with your court case, I hope you can nail them to the wall over their actions.

I, personally, find a woman who is an atheist to be more attractive than one who is not. Intelligence is sexy, and intelligence is positively correlated with atheism.

I'm also in the South, and I've had my share of 'OMG, how can you reject God like that?' moments. When you live in a city that has more churches than any other type of building, rampant religiousness becomes the norm. I've had several abortive dates end when they'd ask me 'So what church do you go to?' It seems to be a standard first date question around here. :/
I miss living up north. And not just because I like snow. :)
I'm up in Washington State and it is a bit different up here. I don't think I've ever heard anyone make comments about women like that around here.. but I generally don't hang out with people that would so its not really surprising. Atheism is still left out of conversations entirely though, unless I'm in the mood to make a new enemy. Unfortunetely I live in the agricultural part of the state however, and religion is somewhat out of control. I miss living on the west side in the metripolitan areas, I don't think anyone ever once asked me anything about religion in all the years I lived there.

Atheism doesn't go agianst everything a women should be either, it goes against everything a 19th century Christian woman was. Times have changed, and it's time for them to realize that. Personally, intelligence is a must have...
Being relatively new to atheism and skepticism I can only speak from my experiences. I don't have other atheist/skeptic female friends. The only forum I have participated on was the JREF forum (James Randi Educational Foundation) because that was the only one I KNEW about. I've been hard pressed to find an interactive atheist forum until I stumbled on this place via Twitter.

I think that women ARE less prone to being atheists because women feel more than think logically. Because of that (and I KNOW I'm going to catch crap for this opinion). We follow our heart and that fuzzy feel-good emotions. The story of the birth of Jesus is a feel good story. The story of his death is really quite heart wrenching. So when we're neck deep in emotions and someone we trust tells us that the story is real, we tend to believe it for both of those reasons.

I used to believe in the Woo. It took me YEARS ut thanks to James (The Amazing) Randi, Penn Jillette and George Hrab, I finally made it through to the logical thinking side. YAY free thought!
I agree, Herbwoman. It may be a controversial issue, but the research does show women to be more emotionally-based than men. I will agree with the emotional attachment to the feel-good Jesus story, but I'll take the emotional thing one step further, at the risk of offending everyone.

I have done a little unscientific research of my own and what I find is that one of the most common reasons for believing that I hear from women is that they want to believe that they will be reunited with lost loved ones after death. The bonds women form with loved ones are so strong that knowing that we will never again see someone we loved so deeply is just too painful to carry around.
There is a great psychoanalyst test you can take on BBC.com somewhere.
You can argue that the female oriented brain might be more emotionally attached than the male oriented brain, but not every female falls into the female orientation nor does every male fall into the male orientation. Most people are a percentage of each. I'm much higher male than female. My ex was almost completely female. That has nothing to do with either sexuality or gender, but rather the WAY you think.. not what you think.
It's interesting. If I wasn't so lazy I'd send you a direct link.. but you'll have to look for it yourself until I get caffeine.
No female fits into every typically female category, just as no man fits into every typically male category. Like you, I tend to be more male-oriented than the majority of females, and you'll have that with any category. Still, the statistically significant majority is what I'm discussing.

If you look strictly at correlation and not at any underlying cause, you will see that the research shows women to be more emotionally-oriented than men. Again, you will always have outliers, and everyone will fall somewhere different on the continuum, but if you look at a scatter plot on the subject, you'll see that the majority of women fall closer to the emotional end than the majority of men do.
No doubt... I'm just pointing out it isn't near so huge the majority as one would think.... and the gaps between generations grow even smaller, which I think was interesting.
I find the shrinking generation gaps extremely interesting, also. I would like to really look into the causation of that. I would wonder if it's at all related to (and if so, how much) the progression of women socially, i.e. women today have more rights, are more comfortable thinking for themselves and expressing ideas, whereas in the past (and largely due to religion I'd imagine) women had been kept subservient, quiet, and existed mostly for housekeeping, child care, etc.

Surely there are so many variables that go into a change like that. I just love to hypothesize.
Oh hell yeah. A huge factor is globalization, I bet. I mean, we are still pack animals and seek to create sub-cultures within our every expanding habitats, but the butterfly effect has enormous potential for dynamic change.

Eventually we'll all be mentally androgynous and the same physical shade of mocha!

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