I think (and I'm going to be dodging tomatoes pretty soon, too) that yes, there are more women who buy into it. But I don't think it's so much due to an intelligence thing or the like. Rather, there are some things I've observed vis a vis men versus women (a lot of these are changing):
1) Fewer women in hard science or analytical careers or educational concentrations. This is changing, yes, but there are still fewer female engineers than there are female secretaries or English majors. In engineering, you're encouraged (heck, you're required
) to think for yourself. In clerical work, that's the last thing you want to do (this is what taking dictation means). In the more humanities-type areas, many viewpoints are allowed, some without rigorous study. Validation is given to all sorts of things, with less examination than you get in the sciences. As for why there are fewer women in the hard sciences, that's a matter of conjecture but I well recall there being a pretty heavy bias in school towards women going into humanities and men into science. And I'm 40, so a large percentage of all people in the US are my age or older.
2) The culture playing up the whole touchy-feely (female) versus stoic (male) stereotypes. This is the Venus and Mars thing. Look at magazines geared towards men and those geared towards women. The magazines for women focus on personal appearance, child care, homemaking and attracting a mate (See Women's Day
for a good example). And yes, many of these magazines have horoscopes. The men's magazines tend to draw attention to trends and electronics, and a little bit about appearance, but more in the vein of fitness and fashion (and not too much fashion there). Are there any horoscopes? None that I've seen (See GQ
). Television for women is larded with self-help and romances. Women's films are a gallery of fluffy love stories. Men's TV is about action. Men's films (which are never specifically referred to as such) are not only shoot-'em-ups but also techno-thrillers. The Matrix
is seen as a men's film or at least not a women's picture, whereas Terms of Endearment
will only be seen as a women's movie.
3) Overall educational levels. Let's face it, there are still fewer female college graduates than there are male ones. While educational level doesn't perfectly correlate to skepticism about superstitions, there is something of a correlation. After all, when you're exposed to rigorous thinking and the making of proofs, you learn to question what's handed to you, be it superstitions, religious dogma, political diatribes, etc. Thinking for yourself means you don't swallow this kind of stuff hook, line and sinker.
Okay, bring on the tomatoes! I got a salad to make!