Some time ago ago I carried out a little survey to try to establish whether or not women, in general, taking it by and large, on the whole and with reservations, might be thought to be—or tend to be—more, perhaps marginally, superstitious than men. This was a frivolous exercise, and I did not imagine anyone would consider it tendentious or even take it seriously.
But I was wrong. My conclusion ("Yes, possibly") evidently festered in the mind of an acquaintance of mine until she could rein in her contempt no longer, and now, four years later, she has sent me an email expressing the view that what I had written was monstrously unreasonable, bigoted, mendacious and shameful, though supplying no evidence to support her contention that my conclusion was wrong.
This attack has hurt me deeply. While I am prepared to admit that such strictures could be applied with some truth to much of the content of OMF, I do not believe they can be levelled at the post in question, so over the past few days during which I had few major commitments (any fewer, and there would have been no need for me to get up in the mornings), I have gone to the trouble of repeating the enquiry using a larger sample.
It was based on the same premise as the earlier survey: that the desire to reveal your astrological sign to the world by noting it in your blog profile indicates a belief that this information says something interesting about you. There is no reason to believe this unless you think that there is something in astrology and that it is not just silly rubbish; in other words you have at least one superstitious belief.
So I looked at a hundred blogs which feature a personal profile, fifty written by women and fifty by men. Of these, 11 (22%) of the men and 36 (72%) of the women list their astrological sign.
This does not prove that women are more than three times as likely as men to be superstitious, of course: such a conclusion would be quite unwarranted.