Are Men More Likely to Be Secular Than Women?

This is a guest post written by Phil Zuckerman. Zuckerman is a professor of sociology and secular studies at Pitzer College. His latest book, Living the Secular Life, will be published this December.

As many of you may be well aware, Sam Harrisrecently quoted comments concerning why most of his fans tend to be male set off some serious criticisms; Greta Christina’s condemnation of Harris was particularly stinging.

The issue of whether or not men tend to be more secular than women is clearly a hot-button issue; people can be easily outraged or offended by related insinuations, declarations, or interpretations when it comes to the proclivities of men and women to be more or less religious or secular. And women within the secular movement (or any movement) have a right to be hyper-vigilant when it comes to sexism, chauvinism, and any other manifestations of patriarchal malfeasance.

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Non-Religious Students Make Up More Than a Third of Harvard’s New Freshman Class

It’s not a scientific survey by any means, but Harvard’s newspaper, The Crimson, asked incoming freshman to fill out a survey in order to assess various demographic trends. More than 70% of students responded. The section about religious beliefs, in particular, is unbelievable:



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Study Shows That More Religious Places Show Less Scientific Innovation (or When Religion Wins, Science Loses)

According to a recent paper by a Princeton economist and his colleagues, we can attach some numerical data to the battle between science and religion (or, rather, “patents per capita” versus how seriously the people there take religion):

Chris Mooney at Mother Jones explains:

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Survey Shows That More Than a Third of Americans Support a Pledge of Allegiance Without “Under God”

Earlier this year, LifeWay Research (an evangelical Christian polling group) asked Americans whether or not they prefer to keep “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance and, to no one’s surprise, they overwhelmingly said yes:

The American Humanist Association felt those results were skewed, in part because Americans didn’t really understand the Pledge’s history. So in May, they commissioned The Seidewitz Group to run a similar survey. But this time, before asking whether “Under God” should remain in the Pledge, responders were made aware of when it was put in there in the first place:

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This Chart Shows How Every Major U.S. Religious Group Feels About Government Involvement in Moral & Economic Issues

How do your religious beliefs affect your views on the government? Should the government play a role in regulating morality? How about the economy, in terms of having a bigger, more involved government or a small, less involved one?

Tobin Grant at Religion News Services offers a conversation started with this very dense, highly informative chart tracking all of the major religions in the U.S. and where they typically stand on this issues based on their responses in the Pew Forum’s Religious Landscape survey. (The bigger the circle, the more members of that religious denomination.)

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