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Men Have Been More Pro-Choice Over the Past 30 Years
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abany1
abany2One of the weird things that annoys me about American politics is the idea that support for abortion rights is particular in some way to women. This is very common on the Left side of the political spectrum, but strangely for the self-described “reality based community” it has basically no correspondence with reality at the first pass.* All you need to do is look at the General Social Survey, which as a variable “ABANY” which asks respondents if it should be legal for a woman to have an abortion for any reason. The question has been asked every few years since 1977. I limited the data to whites only, and what you can see above is that year to year there is actually a correlation between men and women when it came to a “Yes” response. I was actually surprised by that. The jumps are not total noise, but reflect changes in the Zeitgeist (the rule of thumb is that the populace becomes more pro-choice during Republican presidencies and more pro-life during Democratic ones).

The second plot illustrates that for most of the years since 1977 men have supported abortion on demand at a higher clip than women. It doesn’t prove anything, except that reality is a little more “problematic” than some people who regularly call in to NPR might think (that’s what triggered this post).

* If you look close, there is evidence that a smaller well educated segment of liberal women are particularly intense about abortion rights.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Abortion 
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  1. Probably women are more religious.

    Also, a lot of men (I speak for myself here) don’t want to get hit with child support payments for 18 years. The woman at least gets a baby out of it.

    It’s more emotionally wrenching to abort the child once you’ve got it, too.

    • Replies: @Sid
    I would imagine that significant numbers of women are quite inclined to judge other women for having had abortions, too.
  2. @SFG
    Probably women are more religious.

    Also, a lot of men (I speak for myself here) don't want to get hit with child support payments for 18 years. The woman at least gets a baby out of it.

    It's more emotionally wrenching to abort the child once you've got it, too.

    I would imagine that significant numbers of women are quite inclined to judge other women for having had abortions, too.

  3. This is hardly news. The left’s strategy to win elections in the United States is not to state their true objectives (which few people embrace) or give people a good reason to vote for them (looking at the places they run and the trends for their core constituencies reveals why that’s a non-starter) but to make their core constituencies fear Republicans, which is why their narrative is all about saying that Republicans are anti-woman and anti-minority.

    Married women don’t for it at well (they tend to vote Republican), but young single women do, because abortion is their safety net for (all too often inebriated) casual sex. Basically, the idea that government can, should, and will remove the consequences for risky and bad choices (though government-funded birth control, abortion, anti-STD drugs and vaccines, court-ordered child support, welfare, and so on) appeals greatly to them and any attempt to stop the good times from rolling seems anti-woman to them.

    What most young women and feminists miss is that at lot of the policies they see as anti-woman were actually encouraged by women. Prostitution came to an end in the Old West when the married women and families showed up. Marriage was how women locked men down into providing for them and their children. A lot of early feminists opposed abortion because it has long been a way for men to hide their misconduct (it’s used today to hide statutory rape). And let’s not forget that Prohibition was driven largely by women, too.

    I recommend taking a look at the blog dalrock.wordpress.com, not so much for his Christian take on things (which I expect quite a few here to not care about or reject) but because he posts quite a bit on data and demographics concerning the relationships between men and women, marriage, divorce, income, and how those things interrelate. He also talks about how ideas of sex and romance have changes in ways that can be quite dysfunctional. He also posts some great examples of the absurd extremes people can go to in order to protect certain narratives and pretend that reality works in ways that it clearly doesn’t for most people.

  4. It used to be a given in political science that women were more conservative voters than men, in the sense of a practical resistance to changing the status quo. E. g., in the US women voted more Republican than men did until the 1970s, and in the UK, the Tories owe all their 20th-century victories to the distaff side. Men were always far more socialist.

    Women didn’t give more support than men to the welfare state until the first generation to have grown up under it matured.

    Abortion seems to resist this trend. Women born after 1965 who’ve known nothing but “choice” should be more defensive toward abortion than their brothers are but, to borrow a Sailerism, this hasn’t gone through the formality of actually taking place yet.

    I think another old rule is at work here: men are more informed about the far away, women about the close-to-home. Men know NATO, the UN, and NASA, women, the school board, the food shelf and the rape hotline.

    You don’t get closer to home than the womb, do you?

    • Replies: @Jus' Sayin'...

    Abortion seems to resist this trend.
     
    I've also noticed that the age-specific attitudes towards abortion among women haven't changed much over time. The underlying cause seems to be that as women age they become more opposed to abortion. This pattern peaks towards the end of the child-bearing years; suggesting that a familiarity with what pregnancy means to a woman and the relation between mother and fetus/child is what drives women to oppose abortion: The more intimate with and aware of this connection a woman becomes the more likely she is to oppose abortion. I had a girl friend in the '70s who underwent an abortion after a rape. She tearfully told me later that she would do anything rather than experience another abortion.

    Somewhat off-topic: The prominent demographer, Judith Blake Davis, noted in a 1970s research paper in DEMOGRAPHY that when you did a close examination of responses to survey responses regarding attitudes towards abortions, the vast majority of Americans, male and female are very much opposed to Roe v Wade and subsequent, even more radical, court decisions, and more generally oppose abortion on demand. Support for abortion only goes up when it is required to prevent pregnancy due to rape or incest, to protect the life of the mother, or less enthusiastically to prevent the birth of a severely abnormal child. These patterns too have held steady over nearly a half-century now.

    It's amazing how many in the "progressive", "fact-based" community are ignorant of or just plain deny these solidly established facts.
  5. @Reg Cæsar
    It used to be a given in political science that women were more conservative voters than men, in the sense of a practical resistance to changing the status quo. E. g., in the US women voted more Republican than men did until the 1970s, and in the UK, the Tories owe all their 20th-century victories to the distaff side. Men were always far more socialist.

    Women didn't give more support than men to the welfare state until the first generation to have grown up under it matured.

    Abortion seems to resist this trend. Women born after 1965 who've known nothing but "choice" should be more defensive toward abortion than their brothers are but, to borrow a Sailerism, this hasn't gone through the formality of actually taking place yet.

    I think another old rule is at work here: men are more informed about the far away, women about the close-to-home. Men know NATO, the UN, and NASA, women, the school board, the food shelf and the rape hotline.

    You don't get closer to home than the womb, do you?

    Abortion seems to resist this trend.

    I’ve also noticed that the age-specific attitudes towards abortion among women haven’t changed much over time. The underlying cause seems to be that as women age they become more opposed to abortion. This pattern peaks towards the end of the child-bearing years; suggesting that a familiarity with what pregnancy means to a woman and the relation between mother and fetus/child is what drives women to oppose abortion: The more intimate with and aware of this connection a woman becomes the more likely she is to oppose abortion. I had a girl friend in the ’70s who underwent an abortion after a rape. She tearfully told me later that she would do anything rather than experience another abortion.

    Somewhat off-topic: The prominent demographer, Judith Blake Davis, noted in a 1970s research paper in DEMOGRAPHY that when you did a close examination of responses to survey responses regarding attitudes towards abortions, the vast majority of Americans, male and female are very much opposed to Roe v Wade and subsequent, even more radical, court decisions, and more generally oppose abortion on demand. Support for abortion only goes up when it is required to prevent pregnancy due to rape or incest, to protect the life of the mother, or less enthusiastically to prevent the birth of a severely abnormal child. These patterns too have held steady over nearly a half-century now.

    It’s amazing how many in the “progressive”, “fact-based” community are ignorant of or just plain deny these solidly established facts.

  6. “Basically, the idea that government can, should, and will remove the consequences for risky and bad choices (though government-funded birth control, abortion, anti-STD drugs and vaccines, court-ordered child support, welfare, and so on)”

    In the case of abortion, seems to be more the other side who wants the government to do something.

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