Study: Women more likely than men to accept global warming

From press release at Michigan State University via Eurekalert, something sure to rile almost everyone.

Aaron M. McCright

Aaron M. McCright, associate professor of sociology

Published: Sept. 14, 2010

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Women tend to believe the scientific consensus on global warming more than men, according to a study by a Michigan State University researcher.

The findings, published in the September issue of the journal Population and Environment, challenge common perceptions that men are more scientifically literate, said sociologist Aaron M. McCright.

“Men still claim they have a better understanding of global warming than women, even though women’s beliefs align much more closely with the scientific consensus,” said McCright, an associate professor with appointments in MSU’s Department of Sociology, Lyman Briggs College and Environmental Science and Policy Program.

The study is one of the first to focus in-depth on how the genders think about climate change. The findings also reinforce past research that suggests women lack confidence in their science comprehension.

“Here is yet another study finding that women underestimate their scientific knowledge – a troubling pattern that inhibits many young women from pursuing scientific careers,” McCright said.

Understanding how the genders think about the environment is important on several fronts, said McCright, who calls climate change “the most expansive environmental problem facing humanity.”

“Does this mean women are more likely to buy energy-efficient appliances and hybrid vehicles than men?” he said. “Do they vote for different political candidates? Do they talk to their children differently about global warming?”

McCright analyzed eight years of data from Gallup’s annual environment poll that asked fairly basic questions about climate change knowledge and concern. He said the gender divide on concern about climate change was not explained by the roles that men and women perform such as whether they were homemakers, parents or employed full time.

Instead, he said the gender divide likely is explained by “gender socialization.” According to this theory, boys in the United States learn that masculinity emphasizes detachment, control and mastery. A feminine identity, on the other hand, stresses attachment, empathy and care – traits that may make it easier to feel concern about the potential dire consequences of global warming, McCright said.

“Women and men think about climate change differently,” he said. “And when scientists or policymakers are communicating about climate change with the general public, they should consider this rather than treating the public as one big monolithic audience.”


Michigan State University has been advancing knowledge and transforming lives through innovative teaching, research and outreach for more than 150 years. MSU is known internationally as a major public university with global reach and extraordinary impact. Its 17 degree-granting colleges attract scholars worldwide who are interested in combining education with practical problem solving.

Contact: Andy Henion, University Relations, Office: (517) 355-3294, Cell: (517) 281-6949,; Aaron M. McCright, Sociology and Lyman Briggs, Office: (517) 432-8026,


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Also, more western women go to church than men. The link thickens!

Someone forgot to tell my missus !!!!

[snip] and then there’s also [snip], and [snip].


This is just bait for Lubos. 😉

Tom in Florida

We all know why, men are from Mars and women are from Venus.


Today my daughter described her Advanced Placement Environmental science class.
All the students computed their carbon footprints.
They measure on a scale of :”earths”. Pure guilt trip abuse.
The kid came out pretty good at a mere 4 earths.
( Largely due to our small cars and little airplane travel)
Many of her fellow students had scores of 6 or 7 .
But then she and her friend did some further calculations.
If they pooled their resources, lived together in a small apartment, had no cars,
ate vegan, and used virtually no appliances or modcons, their scores would still be in the 1.4-1.5 “earths” range.
So they did it again for a child living in a one room hut in Africa with 7 other people and pretty much nothing at all. Still .7 “earths”.
These weenies are weenies for trying to get over on women, or assuming that they can.


My wife reads this blog, thus preventing any sort of comment from me whatsoever! Nice weather we’re having lately! Fine day for a stroll…
Just call me Schultz.

Fred from Canuckistan

So in summary, women are more gullible than men.
REPLY: and we have ignition…

Dan in California

This sociology professor obviously believes the “scientific consensus,” and anyone who agrees with him is “more scientifically literate.” I think it’s interesting that the alarmist party line is bought by sociologists, psychologists, liberal arts graduates, and some climatologists. On the other hand, the skeptics tend to be physicists, engineers, chemists, statisticians, computer programmers, other climatologists, and farmers.

wes george

The human understanding when it has once adopted an
opinion (either as being the received opinion or as
being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to
support and agree with it. And though there be a greater
number and weight of instances to be found on the
other side, yet these it either neglects and despises, or
else by some distinction sets aside and rejects; in order
that by this great and pernicious predetermination the
authority of its former conclusions may remain
inviolate.. . . And such is the way of all superstitions,
whether in astrology, dreams, omens, divine judgments,
or the like; wherein (wo)men, having a delight in
such vanities, mark the events where they are fulfilled,
but where they fail, although this happened much
oftener, neglect and pass them by.
-Francis Bacon, dead white male philosopher & probable Climate Skeptic

Phil's Dad

I showed this to my sister.
She snorted – that was the end of the conversation.
(PS My sister is Chair of the Faculty of Social Research at a major UK university)

Pious Agnosic

Wow, there are so many assumed premises in this story that it makes my head swim.


Will not go there…
….except to say I find this study insulting


Ha ha. I wonder whether he asked any control questions about trigonometry, astrophysics, neurology, or machine language?
Nevermind, he’s a sociologist from “MSU’s Department of Sociology, Lyman Briggs College and Environmental Science and Policy Program.”
Perfect guy to be conducting this survey about The Science.


That study might actually be saying something else……


So being fooled by propaganda equals scientific literacy? Hmmm…

John F. Hultquist

“the most expansive environmental problem facing humanity.”
Does McCright mean “comprehensive” with the term “expansive”?
Or is one of the other possible interpretations meant; such as a generous nature or overestimation? The English language has lots of words. Each has a meaning. Almost always there is a correct word and several that come close. It is always best to pick the correct one. (Exception: when writing fiction where misdirection is a worthy tactic.)
Which scientific consensus are we talking about?
Is this poll from the US of A only?
Is there any indication that those answering the poll had any “science comprehension”?

Wondering Aloud

“challenge common perceptions that men are more scientifically literate”
No this tends to confirm the perception that men are more scientifically literate. Saddly the author is not one of those scientifically literate men or he would have known this.
Agreeing with an imaginary and politically motivated consensus that is not even defined is most certainly not evidence of science literacy.

I’m not really surprised. This tends to confirm my experience and intuition. I believe men are also more confident than women, which I think would tend to make us more non-conformist about certain things.
It is interesting, but individual differences will overpower most of these group tendencies.
Also, I kind of read this to be a preliminary study with the next step being how to push “male” buttons to better convince us of the AGW hypothesis. In other words, this is the science of propaganda.

No mystery. Modern news media (TV and newspapers) are written
for a female audience. Modern college courses are aimed largely at
a female audience. Males understand that they’re “not wanted” in
those circles, so they find their information elsewhere.
On this subject the truth will not be found on TV, so those who get
their info elsewhere are more likely to find the truth. (I’m tempted
to say “on all subjects”, but in theory there could be something true
on TV about SOME subject. In theory anything is possible.)

Dave Wendt

Another bit of data that provides some real world perspective on his assertion that women are really more scientifically aware because they agree with Algore.
Women now outnumber men in grad school enrollments by over 40% and they dominate in 7 of the 11 fields listed. The exceptions? Engineering, Math & Computer Science, Physical Sciences, and Business. Of course these lingering deficits in their otherwise total dominance are just the remnants of the old patriarchal prejudice and in no way reflect any inherent female preference. Uh- huh.


well it was good for laugh.
once again, i consider it a travesty that folks get paid to sit around and manufacture this kind cr*p
the core finding might actually have legs, as from the the marketing one can see that AGW is sold as an emotional/religious product- which appeals to women in general more than men.
when i first tried to watch the gore movie i had to turn it off because it was so implausibly ridiculous. however, the misses….well she found it insulting too 😉
so never mind


I should like to see a study on climate change views between black and white people. Should there be a difference, we may speculate and generalize about why that is, too. I think that would be every bit as useful as this exercise.

Political Junkie

Some desperate “scientists” will say anything to get laid!


This is a poorly thought out report. That fact that men are more skeptical has to do with us looking into the science more than the women do. I bet if any of us goes out on the streets and asks 10 men and 10 women about the hockey stick issue, the ice-core lag in CO2/temp graphs, or climategate, I bet more men will be aware of the issues and have the “additional” information than women and NOT because they aren’t capable of understanding science, rather because more women than men are disinterested in science and because of this disinterest, they aren’t aware of all of the holes in the AGW science, hence they tend to believe what the scientists say.


In other words:
We’re losing the proles! Fine tune the propaganda – Target women and tell them to go with their feelings. Men are a bunch of troglodyte throwbacks who whouldn’t know what global warming was unless it wore a tight skirt!
Soon they’ll try some “Network”esque marketing to our cats – Then we’ll really be screwed!

James Sexton

“Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.”——I always that it was Ricky Nelson but now they tell me it’s some Pope dude.


You could take the same data and argue that women are, as the author puts it, “less confident in their scientific knowledge” and conclude that therefore they are less likely to challenge the “consensus” even if they see flaws in it or it doesn’t make sense to them.


This headline should have been;
“Beta male finds unique method of removing self from gene pool!”


“thegoodlocust ”
“We call this one the “Good Locust” . She has been bred to resist the brushing of the wings “. ( James Earl Jones to Linda Blair)
Good name.
Any how i think they are going the other way. Bias the message to women and hope that men follow in the interest of peace.

John M

Weren’t women at the forefront lobbying for prohibition too?
How’d that turn out?

Justa Joe

This doesn’t exactly bolster the case that disbelief in CAGW = anti-science, and belief in CAGW correlates to pro-science.

James Sexton

All humor aside, I think the days of generalizing gender trends are of days gone by. Truly, there are specific nature differences that cause nurture differences. There are differences, physically, emotionally(caused by both chemical and nurture differences) and thus mentally as far as perspective……generally. But a blanket generalization is ……..what I would expect from a mediocre sociologist.


I’m not sure which gender this report trivializes more, the Women ? Or the Men?

The McCright and Dunlap duo have very ‘interesting’ papers indeed – right from the early days. 🙂

Robin Kool

Didn’t I read somewhere that the more people are informed about AGW, the more they are skeptical?
That fits in very well with ‘…common perceptions that men are more scientifically literate…’.
Very few people have the skill and the courage to rethink their beliefs in the light of new evidence.
And there are few people who have the courage to uphold their conviction when ‘authorities’ disagree.
This article doesn’t say there are no women with skill and courage, it only concludes there are fewer of them.
Is that really a surprise? Hasn’t it been the case for centuries that courage is a capacity that more men than women strive to develop?
Personally I love courageous and skillful and intelligent women, wherever I meet them.
This changes nothing in my contacts with individual men and women. I still have to figure out whether a man or woman I meet has scientific knowledge and is courageous or not.


i must tell my sceptic female friends that they are letting down their side.
uk express weighs in on the GWPF report:
( Cabinet Secretary Lord Turnbull ): “The public has been fed a particular variant of the ­climate change story with many­ of the caveats stripped out. There is a much richer but more complex story to be told which recognises there are strong natural variations upon which manmade emissions are superimposed.” The UEA said the Lord Lawson report “offers nothing new”.
A spokesman said: “Three ­independent reviews have found in favour of the integrity and ­honesty of the scientists in the Climatic Research Unit and there is an overwhelming scientific ­consensus that the world is ­warming and that humankind is having a marked effect on the rate of warming.
“CRU’s research points to conclusions on global warming which are replicated by separate data sets being analysed by independent researchers in other parts of the world. CRU’s published outputs have been subject to expert peer review for more than three ­decades and remain open to ­scrutiny by anyone.”
UEA using an anonymous spokesperson now!

Paul Coppin

Those that can, do. Those that can’t, teach. Those that can neither do nor teach, go into sociology, where they spend the rest of their lives making up little stories about why they can neither do, nor teach.

Basically a study on how to further fine tune the propaganda machine, by some one who is on the grant wagon already. Sounds just like a presidential campaign storming session, we needs ta bring the ignorant, religiously biased, weaker sex, on board to help fuel the PR campaign, to attract the single / horny male voters.
Meanwhile the truth still gets out to the masses, most of whom are too busy trying to keep ahead of real economic problems, to care about some supposed soon to happen problem, no body can prove even by fudging data.

Gary Hladik

OK, it’s official: The US has definitely passed kadaka’s “peak intelligence.”
What’s that language software I keep seeing on TV? “Rosetta Stone”? I need to learn Chinese, quick!

All this demonstrates is women are more willing to accept faith based and emotional explanations than men.


Divide and conquer. Al’s been spending his evenings home alone reading Lysistrata and thinking deep thoughts. If he’s not gettin’ any, he’ll fix it so none of you guys gets any.
Me, I’m keepin’ my mout’ shut.

Area Man

It would be nice if news providers refused to publish stories based on this type of press release UNLESS the source of the funding is identified.

JRR Canada

McCright has it almost right, try the ” most expensive…”pseudo science. His desperation gives me great joy,this “social scientist” is a classic ,scientifically illiterate, believer in the “scientific concensus”. Indeed a most worthy rep for MSU.


That fact that men are more skeptical has to do with us looking into the science more than the women do.

It wasn’t an assessment of actual skepticism, just belief in AGW or not.

“The findings also reinforce past research that suggests women lack confidence in their science comprehension.”

This is an excellent pre-condition for skepticism. Feeling confident that you “understand the science” is a recipe for ignorant close-mindedness for most lay people.


Those that can, do. Those that can’t, teach.

That has always been a load of old bollox.


“…even though women’s beliefs align much more closely with the scientific consensus,”
All this indicates is that women are more gulluble or more easily conned.
That is one of the reasons for the push to get women into posistions of power by the elitists. They are more easily controlled.


The Dead, “The Women Are Smarter,” at The Gorge, May 16, 2009

Pamela Gray

I think it is highly interesting and relevant to list the number of comments from men who readily believed this pile of horse apples.


Hunh. I would have postulated that people that believe in global warming are too young to know that temperatures fluctuate over time, don’t know much about geological history, haven’t spent much time in the actual outdoors, and are too naive (or stupid) to realize that they are being deliberately lied to by people making a great deal of money in the whole “global warming” shtick.
How’s that for a female point of view, McCright?
I don’t think much of sociology professors, either.