Thursday, September 01, 2005

Looking deeper at creationism

Prometheus looks at Party ID and ID. Frankly, I thought those numbers were less interesting than others. The regional numbers were fascinating. Across the board, the South was much more creationist than any other region. While the East and West were very pro-science, the Midwest wasn't too far off.

But the most fascinating, the one I cannot wrap my head around, is the gender breakdown:

If evolved over time...
Existed in their
present form
over time
Guided by

Why are women 11 points more likely to favor creationism? That makes not one lick of sense.

In an earlier look at similar polling data, I noted a striking discrepancy between men and womens' support for doctors' ability to give terminally ill patients the means to die. Women were noticeably less supportive, and I speculated that it might be connected to the less trusting relationship between women and the medical profession in general.

This is clearly not of the same exact origin, but I wonder if it isn't related. Women are about equally supportive of scientists being involved in setting the content of science classes, so it isn't an authority issue.

Are women more likely to be evangelicals? There are strong trends in education and earnings, but I'd imagine that the latter, as a family measure, isn't relevant. Are women less likely to have a college degree? The only educational groups with majority support for creationism are those with no more than a high school education. I can't believe that explains the gender gap. The gap is most pronounced in women over 50, only 36% of whom support evolution, while 47% of women under 50 support evolution. That's still under the population average, though not by a statistically significant degree.

Any guesses?