Gene Expression

The sexes do not differ on science

When I look through the GSS I am struck, and sometimes disturbed, by the way attitudes toward science track various demographic slices. It is no surprise that Fundamentalist Christians tend to be suspicious of science, but blacks and the poor also tend to be much more hostile than whites and the middle and upper classes. So I was curious as to whether there was a systematic sex difference as there are on some issues (astrology) but not on others (abortion). What differences there are seem very modest. In fact, I am struck that the difference in daily familiarity with science does not result in proportionally a greater unease with science on the part of the sex which is less familiar on average on a day to day basis with science (females). If you want to replicate what I did below, the “ROW” variables are: DOUBTS3 SCI30 TRUSTSCI SCISOLVE SCICHNG SCIMORAL NEXTGEN TOOFAST SCIFAITH HARMGOOD SCIGRN SCIPRY (you can just cut & paste this list). And the “COLUMN” was obviously SEX.

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Comments

  1. #1 deadpost
    September 29, 2008

    Trust or unease with science may not depend on familiarity with science so much, for example, (although it must play a part) but perhaps more of it is due to social dynamics. (ie. Appeal to authority, or the fact that since everyone believes X is safe/unsafe, I’ll go along with the majority) In that sense, women may not differ far from men too much.

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