Sexism and religion


Paul Djupe has some interesting numbers in a blog post at Religion in Public: Support for Women’s Equality Across Religious Groups Varies Considerably. Read his analysis there. Below are some of his figures.


The figure below shows the degree of sexism across age cohorts by religious group. There is no consistent pattern. In some groups, today’s 80-year-olds are less sexist than today’s 30-year-olds (e.g., black protestant and Jewish). But in others the pattern is perhaps in line with our intuition: the older generations are more sexist, or little different from younger generations.

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Joseph Flanagan
Joseph Flanagan

I am not convinced that sexism can be reduced to a single scalar value. And defining sexism can be very subjective. But, many studies in the social sciences suffer from similar weaknesses. While social scientists typically couch their results in statistics, giving the impression that their results are scientific and objective, the definitions and assumptions that underlie such studies are hopelessly subjective.

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Cynthia Katsarelis

The questions in this survey seem perfectly reasonable and breaking the answers down into means is a typical way of dealing with statistics. There may be some art to this science, and statistic can be open to interpretation. However, I find all of the questions to be a good measure of sexism. Women suffer discrimination, this is an established fact. Men who deny this are defined as sexist in this study, and I would agree. "Special rights" is the mantra of people who don't accept the reality of inequality, so that question seems valid. Harassment in the workplace is all too common and documented; blaming the women rather than the harasser is sexist. "Women should return to traditional roles"??? Clearly sexist. One can add up the scores to these questions pretty easily and turn them into averages and means and map those onto the demographics of the survey takers.

I think this is revealing, though not comprehensive.

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mike geibel
mike geibel

The data used consisted of responses from 6,005 adults (ages 18 +) by way of a voluntary online computer survey in April-May, 2018. Validity and reliability in surveys is not to be assumed, and a survey using a tiny sample group may not be persuasive authority. Put in perspective, the U.S. had 327.2 million people in 2018. Americans claiming “no religion” are said to represent about 23.1 percent of the population, and those claiming evangelicalism about 22.5 percent of Americans.

But the more surprising statement is what the Headline omits-- Prof. Djude concluded: “Young evangelical men are more sexist than their granddads. Young women are slightly less sexist, but not significantly so. So the null result above gains some context – it would be significant were it just to include men.”

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