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Why are there more male than female atheists?

Why is it,that men tend to outnumber women on all my atheist sites and clubs and local social gatherings?

MichaelSpinler 8 Sep 29

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I think that there are possibly many more women that are closet atheist than men. I clearly remember having a discussion with my mother when I was in my 40's on the subject, and after realising that she really didn't have the same virilent beliefs in god and religion as my father, I asked her why she still maintained the charade, and her reply was "anything for a quiet life", which I think would just about say it for many women in a relationship with a forceful and bigoted male.

could be a factor, i have read some interesting responses , buth scientific, and cultural, even some sexist reasons.
what ever the combo doing it, it needs to stop.
we need more women atheist, preferably single. lol


Honestly, I've found that misogyny is practiced just as much among secular men as it is religious men. Heck, look how many "Red Pillers" on reddit are atheist. I've seen a lot of women leave atheist groups after being made uncomfortable by men who have decided they are entitled to that woman's attention, have belittled the women, have talked over them, or "corrected" them on their experiences, etc. Nothing we enjoy more than men telling us what is and isn't sexism or how we're supposed to feel when x or y happens to us. So they prefer to instead find other groups that aren't as dominated by men. It takes a much stronger personality type of woman to be able to ignore those men and force them to respect boundaries, which some of us had better luck with than others in my real life atheist groups.

But also, it might be that there are more reasons to maintain the social connection in religious groups even with secret doubts, so you pretend to be religious to continue to belong. I know I've been tempted to join a church just so I can sing in the choir, since I used to love being in choir in high school.


I think with respect to Christianity, many women find the idea of a male figure that loves them and will look out for them to be comforting. I think that idea gives many men the creeps.

BD66 Level 7 Oct 8, 2017

That is a great question that could be answered with the simple word of: Misogyny

Look at the three major religions in the world being Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Now look at their hierarchy within many of the sects within them. I would bet some money that damn near all of them have all-male hierarchy.

Are there any female cardinals that convene to choose the next Pope? No.

Are there any females holding higher power within Judaism? No.

Are there any females holding higher power in Islamist states? Hard no.

Females within major religions are not a thing. They are subordinates, at best. They are seen as sub-human, at most. Just recently, Saudi Arabia has allowed women to drive cars. Just now, in 2017. In the U.S., the battle for women's rights to choose regarding their own bodies is always under challenge. A panel of all men, many clergymen, were bound together to weigh in on a woman's right to have an abortion.

The ability for women's rights in highly religious countries is practically null.

while i agree that in religion women are according to their books , breeding stock and second class to men.
atheism has no such books or ideas, i would hope. so why is it that more women are not gravitating towards atheism being that religion thinks they are second class citizens?


My experience with local atheist groups has been that men dominated discussions and talked over (and down to) female members. Not something that encouraged women to remain.


I don't know but it is damn frustrating as an atheist woman trying to find some girlfriends to hang with. We have formed a local atheist group and only 3 women (myself included) we are all close but deffinatatly tired of the guys sometimes. At one of our events we have give stuff to the homeless I was joking about our cycles and how I could donate my tampons stock since I don't need them anymore and one of the guys is like change the subject please???? lol.

Where my girls at?


It just my. Opinion but women usually need s support system even if it a lie. Many were brought up told they need to find a god man to support them.
The fact this type of brain washing make me sick to my stomach and making women feel useless unless they follow this way of teaching

there are a lot of guys who need notherely support too, though obviously not many admit it.


Put simply because there are more male atheists than female atheists. Across different survey datasets, this is shown to be true repeatedly. For non-theists, the divide is about 70% male 30% female (on average across national US and Canada scientific polling). For those that are spiritual but not religious, there is a more even 50/50 split just like with the religious. In general, women tend to be more religious than men, even controlling for factors such as race, age, income, political party, and religious affiliation. Now there are many reasons that people can cite for these differences from the biological to the cultural. As a sociologist, I prefer cultural explanations but certainly, it is a mixture of both.

I agree but it slowly changing. I though i would never hear of a black woman thst didnt believe yet there are some out there

There are indeed. I actually know one. She did her thesis on female Black non-believers and found that even those that were in belief atheists or agnostics they called themselves non-religious or spiritual; they even still attended services on the whole because of the social system they had there and as a way to keep remain in the community. Of course, these were interviews so the information cannot be generalized outside of Texas but I am sure there are similar instances across the country.

Among my friends from college, especially from my years living in engineering/science dorms, most are atheists now, and were then, regardless of their race, gender, or parents' religions. We provided enough social support for each other as young adults that there was no need within our community to pretend religions we didn't believe. And, we were accepting of the minority in our social group who were religious. Living out in the real world now, and in a more conservative city, there is really no social life or support network outside work for adults, and if you are a woman who is not working full time because you have kids (which is seemingly the norm here) your life would be pretty isolated and devoid of meaningful adult contact unless you can go to church once a week, fob your kids off to some children's activity, and socialize with other adults within the church structure. I suspect that many of the women I have met here are in church not because they believe anything, but because they would be going crazy from isolation and lack of adult company if they didn't go to church. And when you have accepted that you are a regular church-goer, it is easier to just ignore any philosophical doubts and just go with the flow, whatever you might believe deep-down.


I'm involved in a huge atheist community on WordPress and women are equally represented. WordPress occupies close to 30% of the internet. I was a member of 2 atheist forums about 10 years ago and it was predominately male. The environment wasn't female friendly, meaning, it reeked of sexism. This article might help answer your question.


interesting i will look into it. i myself am a member of several atheist groups and alike, and in every case its a sausage fest. from paltalk, to the friendly atheist or even when i join in on the activities on the atheist experience show. while i realize my observations are not scientific, it was an observation that i had made, and thought it would make for an interesting topic. thanks for your input victoria.

And yours as well, Michael.


internet in general has alot more men than women, dunno about the others as much


Estrogen amplifies (empathy & emotions), & faith is feelings based.
Female's worry about being hurt & hurting others!
Testosterone fosters competition, so when men transition to Atheism, they are far more likely to be public about it, as they are drawn to conflict & proving they are right.
That's my hypothesis.

you have good insight sir. Society is just now coming to realize that the reason for the battle of the sexes/for equality, was not that women want to "be" men, but simply to have the same status/value as men. In any battle/conflict, people tend to compensate their short-comings with aggression. A lot of natural boundaries were lost, or 'blurred', resulting in confusion. Not a good time for either sex. Generally speaking, we are very different. More and more, science is discovering that just how different we truly are, starting with the head. Our brain is wired different from yours, making women good multi-taskers, while men tend to excel concentrating on one task. Our basic DNA was wired so we should fit together very well. The problems arise when one side tries to dominate the other, instead of trying to find the right fit. At first, men were at fault. But, now women are as much to blame for the relationship quantum. My tip to you fellas is - women are romantic creatures, even when we deny this to you, to ourselves. Do/say something romantic, or silly romantic, and we turn into putty. Cave-man antics only go so far.

That may be a part but we cannot dismiss the cultural reasons as well. Women are expected to take care of children, raise them "right", and, as a society, we have deemed that a person must be religious to do so. (Research has actually shown that even for parents with no religion - but are believers - after they have children they start attending church again for the sake of their children, this effect is particularly seen in women.) With this, we also cannot forgo looking at the structural assistance that religion has in place: daycares, community groups, children's bible studies. Places that women can drop their children off at or go to themselves for support.

Now, of course, this true of all women (my mother is actually less religious than my father, so this applies to my experiences) but on the whole social research has shown that these are some of the major reasons that women go to church: family/children and support/community.

I believe that most religions were designed to keep women in line. And most us women were raised in some religious setting. On top of that most women are repressed by their community and school and family teachings. Women do tend to be the ones that follow the way they were taught. In a society were the girls have restrictions and men don't...women are pretty much brainwashed from birth to not think but follow what they have been told. Then even once they do have independent thoughts they fear change or retribution if they do follow thru with it.


Because women in conservative religions are taught to be submissive and not think.

Not only that, girls are still raised to be more considerate, and more attuned to the needs of others. It's never just one source; kids pick up cues from child-care providers, parents, teachers, and all other adults and kids around them, and still, boys are praised more for being assertive and active, while girls are praised more for being pretty, well-behaved, and 'nice'. Add in religious teaching on top of this gendered expectation for behavior, and it makes sense that even when women are atheist, they might not be willing to upset those around them by asserting their atheism where it would be unwelcome. And, if women marry young, as they do still in more conservative religious communities, they may already be locked into raising kids with a believer husband by the time they work out their own private atheist stance. I doubt many women would assert their atheism with so much to lose, without some sort of external support to lean on at least, since they might lose their husband, kids, home, and social life in such situations. I know I've met a few such women from my old church, at least.


Why don't you try some places where women actually hang out? I came upon this site by accident, so I don't think it is on most women's radar.

as did i, i was messing around on fb, and this site was shown. it was a general question based on observation. i tend to meet women on dating sites for the local area.atheist sites tend to be slim pickins because of our low numbers.


Good question! What other clubs, etc have you been doing part of?

i joined the local atheist and agnostic meet ups. also a member of several on line atheist groups. etc.

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