Why are skeptics usually men? Because skepticism is about macho insults


SUNDAY, JUNE 27, 2010

Where are all the female skeptics at?
Anyone who has been in a skeptics group knows this discussion. Some dudes (and occasionally a few ladies) decide that it has something to do with the evolution of the mind and the innate ability of women to understand science or logic. Some others say that social pressure makes women avoid scientific subject matter (which has been documented and results in a difference in science/math ability for women depending on their culture). These debates start because there is a noticable lack of women in skeptic groups, but also because statistically women are more likely to be religious or believe in stuff like psychics. Men who are into woo are usually more into conspiracy theories and UFOs, which gave more weight to the social explanation.

There’s an easier explanation.

“Skepticism” as it is usually practiced is not actual philosophical skepticism – it is uninformed scoffing and dogmatic denial that religious or paranormal topics could be worthwhile.

Uninformed scoffing is an exercise in macho chest-pounding. The insecure man who insults others feels slightly more manly.

Thus scoffers are usually men.

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