Monday, 8 November 2010

Così Fan Tutte, or most of them

In my last post I described a little test I made to see if it was true that women are more superstitious than men. Knowing that among my readers are a number of otherwise sensible women who would find it totally unacceptable that I should consider the suggestion valid, I fully expected that one or more of them would take issue with me.

But none have done so. On the contrary, one comment came from an irresponsible barfly friend of mine called Grumio, who treated the project with typical flippancy, and another from Outeast, one of OMF's wise and percipient regular readers who has taken the trouble to conduct some more serious research to confirm or disprove my point. He used a datafile from the American 1972-2008 General Social Survey, a very useful tool for this kind of research, though he points out that the data relates only to men and women in the USA, so it may be that any conclusion drawn from it 'reflects primarily a cultural construct rather than anything innate', and he makes a couple of other caveats.

My own conclusion seems to be well supported: Women believe in weird things more than men do.

[I know nothing of Outeast's background, as he has always refused to reveal anything at all about himself. He is probably male but for all I know may be a Harvard Professor of Philosophy or possibly a Uyghur herdsman. Anyway, I am grateful both to him and to Grumio: they have cheered me up after a week of bad news from the U.S.]

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