Friday, October 19, 2012

An increase in skepticism among young people?

I've been distributing a questionnaire to students which, among other things, asks them their religion. Quite a few have answered "atheist" which makes me wonder if skepticism is on the increase among young people. It would not surprise me, given the success of New Atheists like Richard Dawkins.

The General Social Survey has been asking about belief in God most survey years since 1988. Here are the percentages for men and women ages 18-29 for the 90s and the past decade:

Percent skeptical--1990s

Men (n = 470)
Atheist 4.9
Agnostic 7.7

Women (n = 571)
Atheist 2.5
Agnostic 3.9

Past decade

Men (n = 644)
Atheist 5.3
Agnostic 10.2

Women (n = 824)
Atheist 1.6
Agnostic 5.3

All categories appear to have increased except for female atheists.

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