Russian film director Tarkovsky asks in Nostalgia, “why only women pray?” as is known, women are more interested in astrology and beliefs like him. It is thought to have several reasons. The first is education. Women are less educated than men, but although this gap diminishes over time, there has been no change in belief inequality. Why Are Millennial Women So Obsessed With Astrology? Tarot readings, birth charts, horoscopes, palmistry, Co-Star notifications – in uncertain times, millennial women are looking to the stars for comfort and guidance. GenderationY Answers: Why Do Women Believe in Astrology?Obviously a percentage of the population in BOTH (all) sexes believes in Astrology, but you've probab. Mar 13, 2021 Why should you believe in astrology? Astrology offers a number of things which many people find very desirable: information and assurance about the future, a way to be absolved of their current situation and future decisions, and a way to feel connected to the entire cosmos. Astrology guides that heavily emphasize gender came about because of who has traditionally had power in astrology, Lanyadoo adds: cis straight white men. “When we fall back on this women are from Venus, men are from Mars archetype, it’s outdated and it’s misinformed,” she says.
Go to HuffingtonPost.com and find the horoscope section without using the search bar. Where might you look first? Culture would be my first guess. Try the Religion section under Culture. No, not there…. Ok, how about…Entertainment? No, just Hollywood talk there. Oh, I know! Life & Style…. Right? No, nothing there either.
Try the Women’s Voices section. There. The horoscopes are pulled from Tarot.com and fed right into Women’s Voices. They are written in a distinctively cliched voice geared towards women, with phrases and words like, “get in your groove,” [Scorpio], “put a magical spin on nearly everything you say,”[Gemini], “generous with your affections” [Leo], “dramatize,” [Capricorn], “11th House of Dreams and Wishes” (I’m not even kidding) [Aquarious], etc etc. It might be worth noting that a man writes them.
Here are the cold, hard facts: More women do read, follow, and believe in horoscopes than do men. There are more female “professional” astrologers than male. So HuffPo’s decision, I can only guess before I get a response from [email protected] about why they put horoscopes where they did, is based off real-world data on gender and beliefs. Pure marketing.
Then where does HuffPo’s decision leave us educated women who DON’T take astrology seriously? More facts: Belief in astrology decreases as education increases. The general readership of HuffPo, liberal and highly educated, almost certainly doesn’t take astrology very seriously, but a woman is still more likely to take astrology seriously than a male of equal math/science education. The possible conclusion a male might draw? Astrology is for morons; women believe in astrology; women are morons.
Ok, “morons” may be taking it too far. (I would also like to note that I do not wish to use this piece as a platform to slam astrology. In fact, I don’t think that people, male or female, who take it seriously are inherently stupid or gullible.) But because most highly educated males think astrology is bunk, and women have to fight stereotypes associated with our ability to use critical thinking, math, and science as well as the boys, the feminisation of astrology is a step backward for women. HuffPo, by placing the horoscope section squarely in the Women’s Voices section of their site, is reinforcing stereotypes that women are interested in pseudoscience and woo, not hard science and experiment; candles and palm reading instead of data and hard decision making; intuition and feeling instead of facts and reason. That, despite any education landmarks we have achieved, we still want silliness and fluff.
I’d like to note I’m okay with fluff. HuffPo can keep horoscopes on its site, as newspapers traditionally have them–in Entertainment or Lifestyle sections. If the people at HuffPo wanted either to cater to those who believe in horoscopes as a legitimate form of advice based on science, or to offer them as a fun crossword section kind of cultural nod, then they would have put them in a more accessible section of the site where both their male and female readership could easily access them; instead, they put them onto a gendered section of the site, a decision that upholds astrology as neither a legitimate science nor a cultural quirk, but as a niche triviality, while simultaneously feminizing it. They would have pulled them from a less gendered source; instead, their content is riddled with phrases one might find in the most trite women’s magazines.
I took a look at major lifestyle magazines (not including cooking, fitness or home mags) specifically targeted towards women, and men. The magazines in bold feature horoscopes on their Web sites (I’m not sure about the paper magazines).
Women: Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, O [no dedicated section but some articles], Vogue, Glamour, Bazaar, Woman’s Day, Marie Claire [6/9]
Men: Complex, Details, Esquire, GQ, Maxim, Penthouse, Playboy, AskMen.com, FHM [1/8]
Except for AskMen.com, the only lifestyle magazines that have horoscopes are those specifically targeted towards women, and are not considered highbrow publications (don’t even get me started on how typical women’s magazines totally screw us–that’s another post entirely). Magazines that are specifically targeted towards men, as well as magazines about economics, arts, science, and politics, do not have horoscopes.
Hopefully, an educated man who does not believe in astrology, if he happened upon the Women’s section (because he is interested in women’s issues, after all!) would think nothing of finding the horoscopes there. But what if he were prone to stereotyping and thoughts, “Oh, there go women again, and their belief in woo and magic.” I’d have to prove to him that I do not buy into astrology or any other mysticism, despite what HuffPo would have him think, and that I am just as much of a skeptical and critical mind as he and his boys club. (Women have to do this regardless of where HuffPo puts its horoscopes, but this doesn’t help us along.)
Huffington Post, for the sake of women everywhere, I implore you: Save us from the dismisses from the ivory towers of the scientific elite. Free us from the ridicule of those men who think women believe in strange, spooky things. Break us from the bonds of fluff and gossip rags, tie us instead to the steady flagships of intelligent discourse and the destruction of harmful stereotypes. Move horoscopes to another section of your site!
Most people reading this article will have also read their horoscope at least once. Even though scientific studies have never found evidence for the claims astrologers make, some people still think astrology is scientific. We are now beginning to understand why, and people’s personalities might have something to do with it.
Astrology columns are widespread and have been around for a surprisingly long time. One of the earliest recorded columnists was 17th century astrologer William Lilly, who was reputed to have predicted the Great Fire of London, albeit 14 years too early.
The idea behind astrology is that stars and planets have some influence on human affairs and terrestrial events. And horoscopes are an astrologer’s foretelling of a person’s life based on the relative positions of stars and planets.
These forecasts are regularly read around the world. According to the Wellcome Trust Monitor Survey, 21% of adults in Britain read their horoscopes “often” or “fairly often”.
Undoubtedly many people read their horoscopes just for entertainment value, or as a topic for conversation. But some people attach scientific credence to astrological predictions and regard astrology as a valid way of understanding human behaviour. A surprisingly large quantity of scientific research has been carried out to evaluate the claims of astrology over the past 40 years. There is no evidence to support such claims.
It should then be a cause for concern if citizens make important life decisions based on entirely unreliable astrological predictions. For instance, people may decide for or against a potential marriage partner based on astrological sign. This happens quite often in India. Some may make rash financial decisions based on predicted good fortune.
Reassuringly, it turns out that the number of people in Britain who think that horoscopes are scientific is small. From the Wellcome Trust Monitor survey, we know that less than 10% think horoscopes are “very” or “quite” scientific. And a similar proportion thinks the same across the European Union as a whole.
However, if we ask people whether they think astrology is scientific, we see a different picture. In a Eurobarometer survey of attitudes towards science and technology, a randomly selected half of respondents were asked how scientific they thought astrology was. The other half were asked the same question about horoscopes.
The results shows a surprising disparity in opinion. More than 25% think that astrology is “very scientific” compared to only 7% for horoscopes.
In research I carried out a few years ago, I tested the hypothesis that people get confused between astrology and astronomy, and it is this that could account for widespread apparent belief in the scientific status of astrology. Even well-respected national newspapers have been known to make this mistake.
My survey also asked people how scientific they believed various activities to be. One of these was astronomy. Using a statistical technique known as regression analysis, I discovered, after adjusting for age, gender and education, that people who were particularly likely to think that astronomy was very scientific were also very likely to think the same about astrology. This points to semantic confusion about these terms among the general public.
In the same study, I was interested to look at other explanations for why some Europeans think astrology is scientific and others do not. The first explanation I looked at was people’s level of education and their knowledge about science.
If one does not have an adequate understanding, it might be difficult to distinguish between science and pseudoscience. So it turns out to be. When taking a wide range of other factors into account, those who have a university degree and who score highly on a quiz tapping scientific knowledge are less likely to think that astrology is scientific.
In line with previous studies, women are more likely than men to think astrology is scientific, regardless of their level of education and knowledge about science. Those who believe in God or a “spirit of some kind” are also more likely to find astrology a scientifically credible activity.
Take things as they are
The most interesting result, however, is based on an idea proposed more than 50 years ago by the German sociologist Theodore Adorno. In 1952, Adorno carried out a study of a Los Angeles Times astrology column. He is witheringly critical of astrology, dubbing it, with the rest of occultism, a “metaphysic of dunces”, suggesting “a climate of semi-erudition is the fertile breeding ground for astrology”.
What is particularly interesting, though, is the connection drawn between astrology with authoritarianism, fascism and modern capitalism (remember that this was in the aftermath of WWII and the Holocaust). For Adorno, astrology emphasised conformity and deference to higher authority of some kind. As some researchers put it: “Take things as they are, since you are fated for them anyway”. In short, Adorno believed that “astrological ideology” resembles “the mentality of the authoritarian personality”.
People high on authoritarianism tend to have blind allegiance to conventional beliefs about right and wrong and have high respect for acknowledged authorities. They are also those who are more favourable towards punishing those who do not subscribe to conventional thinking and aggressive towards those who think differently.
If this hypothesis is correct, then we should see that people who value conformity and obedience will be more likely to give credence to the claims of astrology. In the Eurobarometer survey, there was (by chance) a question that asked people how important they thought “obedience” was as a value that children should learn.
I used this question as a rough and ready indicator of whether a survey respondent was more or less authoritarian in their outlook. And, again, I used regression analysis to see if there was a link between people’s answers to this question and what they thought about astrology. In line with Adorno’s prediction made in 1953, people who attach high importance to obedience as a value (more authoritarian) are indeed more likely to think that astrology is scientific. Western astrology compatibility calculator free. This is true regardless of people’s age, education, science knowledge, gender and political and religious orientations.
So, on one hand, it seems that horoscopes and astrological predictions are, for most people, just a bit of harmless entertainment. On the other, the tendency to be credulous towards astrology is at least partially explained by what people know about science – but also what kind of personality traits they have. And these factors might prove useful in understanding beliefs about a whole range of pseudoscientific fields.
Why Do Women Believe In Astrology Reading
Nick Allum does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.
This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.