I raise here, as a topic of its own, a subject I have raised incidentally under other discussions. That subject is the apparently low participation of female readers in blog/website discussions of origins (evolution, creationism, origin of life, multiverse, intelligent design, etc.). I have been involved in discussion about origins for about 15 years now, on a large number of sites, and overwhelmingly, the contributors to the discussions appear to self-identify as males. Only in a few cases are female writers regular contributors over periods of months or years. Female writers do appear, but often seem to vanish from discussion after only a few exchanges. I’m wondering what might be the causes of this, and whether female readers and writers here could help us to understand this.
Over the past few decades, the number of women trained in the various natural sciences has increased by leaps and bounds. A large number of women hold PhDs in astronomy, biology, biochemistry, and other subjects relevant to origins questions. As well, a large number of specifically Christian women have science qualifications, and as Christians presumably believe that God had something to do with origins. One might expect, then, their voice to be heard more often on sites like this (and BioLogos, and Uncommon Descent, and Panda’s Thumb, etc.) where origins are discussed and theological and scientific concerns meet. Yet the overwhelming male dominance continues.
Is the subject of origins less interesting to females than to males, or to female scientists than to male scientists? Or is the level of interest equal, but something about the mode of discussion on these sites acts (even if entirely unintentionally) to deter female participation? If so, could the mode of discussion be modified so as to make female readers more interested in participating?
I’m open to replies from males as well as females, but am particularly interested in hearing from the female readers. What can they point out to us that most of us, being male, are perhaps failing to notice or think about?