A commenter remarked that women are simply more liberal than men, in reaction to my discussion of marriage. But, that’s simply not true, and even in very twisted situations. While women are consistently more supportive of legalizing same sex marriage, they are, if anything, just as conservative as men when it comes to opposition to legal abortion in the case of RAPE. It’s a bit shocking, but makes sense when you think about the constellation of social locations that result in such a sick-fuck belief. Worse, opposition to legal abortion in the case of rape has increased substantially over the last four decades–for both men and women. And, in both 1973 and 2012 more women are opposed to legal abortion for rape victims than are men (though the difference is not statistically discernible at conventional levels). The short answer is that among the radical right, there is an even gender split, contrary to journalistic assumptions about the radical right. When we get to more even issues—like gay marriage, which has yet to cross the majority threashold in a scientific study—women become forerunners of popular opinion (same thing with gun control).
And, of course, the conservative trend should be another wake up call. Americans are not all becoming more liberal, and some are becoming more conservative. This is another indicator of radical opinion polarization—MORE Americans, even American WOMEN, are opposed to legal abortion in the case of Rape in 2012 than was the case in 1973–nearly four decades ago. The difference is both substantial and statistically significant.