Thanks to everyone who filled out the Skepchick census! I’ve left it open for now if you still want to weigh in, but here areÂ the stats as of Tuesday February 16. There were 1,272 of you. After the jump, enjoy mega chart porn and maybe my longest post yet.
UPDATE: Due to popular demand I’ve added topics by gender by percentage, and also since this posting the percentage of females has risen to 36.2%, possibly because you’re a woman who saw this post and realized you should have filled out the census before in order to represent!
First, let me apologize for not including many options. My hope was that transgender would be extremely inclusive of a number of identities, though if you were born male and now identify solely as female, then you could check the “female” box and it’s all good. But yeah, a number of you weren’t happy with the choices. Sorry about that! The next survey I create will have more options.
I kept watching the numbers on this question go from “okay” to “not really what I was hoping for,” because when about 500 of you had completed surveys it was about 40% female. The number sank by the time I was ready to collect the data.
While 36% women isn’t what I hoped for, it’s not terrible â€“ it’s about what we figured we had when we did a survey two years ago (though that survey had a lot of glitches). Also, Bug_Girl pointed me toward this recent census on BlagHag (is there just something census-y about February?), where 27% of respondents were women.
No big surprises here, unless, like me, you accidentally read the largest pie piece as “over 70.” For a second I thought we had been infiltrated by the coolest group of grannies EVAH.
A commenter pointed out that I didn’t include a trade school option. Sorry about that! So at least one of the “high school degree” answers is actually a tradesman, and possibly others as well. Anyway, it’s pretty clear you guys like your schoolin, since the number of people under 18 is nearly equal to the number who haven’t completed high school.
The vast majority of you are obviously attracted to Pacman, or Ms. Pacman if you’re a dude.
I knew this question would be tricky but I really wanted to know. Yeah yeah, it’s skewed toward the American demographic, but I really just couldn’t account for everything, which is why the “Something Else” option is there. Yeah yeah, race is a social construct, but that was sort of the point. You might say that race doesn’t matter, that we’re all the human race, man, but if it didn’t matter wouldn’t we have a larger percentage of readers who aren’t white? So I’m glad I asked, because this tells me that we’re missing out on a big chunk of people. How to actually address that issue is something else entirely, but it’s nice to know.
Here are the “others”:
Anglo-Arab + a couple extra bits
European (Scottish + Italian)
italian (which is like white, but awesomer)
Mostly European but I also contain a healthy dose of Lebonese
Mutt, no Jeff
New Zealand European
race is a social construct :)
Terms are largely meaningless
White -European – Belgian
White Hispanic (2)
White with a smattering of Sami and Romani
White with some Native American
white, black, latino and indian
Oh man so this is one I totally bunged up. I forgot the Jews! THE JEWS! Why? I do not know. I prefer not to think that I’m secretly and unknowingly anti-Semitic. I added it after someone mentioned it, but yeah. Sorry.
Ignoring that major screw-up, you may notice that the percentages don’t add up. That’s because I let people pick multiple options, knowing that you can identify as both atheist and agnostic and pastafarian. Surprise surprise, most of you identify as atheist. Actual surprise: two of you are Muslim. Hello there!
Lots and lots of data points here. Basically, the plurality of you (17%) are students. 15.7% are IT geeks, 6.3% are engineers, 6.2% are educators, 4.2% are scientists, 3.6% are writers, 2.6% are artists/musicians/entertainers. But, an additional 7 of you wrote in that you are artists or musicians, 10 wrote in that you are designers or graphic designers, 18 of you are librarians, two of you wrote in engineer, a shit-ton of you wrote in some other form of student, 5 of you are in TV or film, and one of you works for the US Census.
In conclusion, artists, musicians, and students don’t bother to find their career on a list of options. Ha!
This is pretty cool: most of you have commented at some point. That makes me happy. I’m totally cool with the silent mass of you who just enjoy reading, but I’m proud that we’re producing material that gets you involved enough to respond. As we’ll see later, our community of commenters is very important.
Half of you! Half of you found Skepchick through The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe! That is crazy talk, my friends. Crazy talk. Of the “Others,” the majority were either Bad Astronomy or Pharyngula links. JREF, Friendly Atheist, NPR, Carpool, and Google Reader all got shout-outs.
So pretty much every one of our major topics has an audience. The interesting thing is how that breaks down by sex:
Dudes love their conspiracy theories, chicks love their health.
Angry, profanity-laced rants FTW!
This part of the census, combined with a lot of your comments at the end of the census (see below) convinced us that you guys tend to really enjoy the Afternoon Inquisitions, but not every day. AIs are fun because they encourage you all to talk amongst yourselves and a lot of people sign up to comment for the first time on an AI, so we’re going to keep them, but only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. This will keep them from cluttering up the front page and give us more breathing room to post original content.
Among your write-in votes a lot of you mentioned video posts (cool, cuz I love doing those!). Others mentioned “calls to political action,” cute animal Friday,” and pictures of other furry bunnies except bunnies” (WHY DO YOU HATE BUNNIES?).
Books won by a long shot! This is very interesting, because way back in the day Donna ran a monthly book discussion, but it didn’t get tons of comments and I don’t think I ever figured out a way to really get people involved, even though Donna’s work was great. But, your responses here tell me it’s time to give it another go. Look forward to a book club coming soon to Skepchick. If you have suggestions for how to best make it work, let us know in the comments!
Here’s another one I totally screwed up. I didn’t include a jewelry option! A thousand apologies to you and to Surly Amy and to all the other great jewelery artists associated with Skepchick. Also, calendars. And mugs. Sheesh. Luckily, you all reminded me in your write-in votes (11 for calendars, 14 for coffee mugs, 10 for jewelry). Favorite suggestion: “temporary tattoos that I could put on people while they sleep.”
Another question, another screw-up. I left off NECSS! 18 of you wrote in to say you had attended, which is super. Other write-ins showed that a lot of you were able to catch well-known skeptics when they came through town on lecture tours, with Phil Plait, PZ Myers, Richard Dawkins, George Hrab, Richard Wiseman, Randi, and Ben Goldacre getting mentions.
Other write-in events included: Skepticon I and/or II (6 of you), Darwin Day (2 of you),Â CFI events (5 of you), and 9 Lessons and Carols (2 of you).
Yeah, this one was a screw-up, too, cuz for the first dozen responses you had to rank the four options, so you had to say something was awesome and something was poor. Then I fixed it!
Overall, you guys rated everything quite well, though events and site design were most in need of improvement. We’re totally on board with that, and are working on some fun upgrades!
Other Sites You Read
Here’s where I learned that there are a million ways to spell “Pharyngula,” “Neurologica,” and “Atheist.” The chart above only shows the sites that four or more of you mentioned, but there are about 100 more that you all mentioned individually. I like seeing what non-science/skeptic/feminist sites you all have in common, like I Can Has Cheezburger, Failblog, Cute Overload, and Yarn Harlot.
So then I gave you all an open-ended question on how we might improve Teen Skepchick. The nearly unanimous response was post more!!! Also, people suggested better integration with Skepchick. We totally agree and am grateful to those of you who voiced support for continuing to improve TS.
As it should be. MONKEYS FOREVER
You guys totally hated this question! Your angry rants in the final open question made me laugh, and also showed me you’re all chomping at the bit to talk about free will again. One of these days.
I’m going to save your answers to World’s Raddest Scientist for another post to come very soon. To end, I’ll just post a selection of some of the great responses you all submitted. These are the amusing ones but there were tons of very helpful constructive comments that I’ll be mentioning at a later date as we address them. Thank you so much to everyone for taking the time to fill out the census!
“You should really make a contest that in some fashion involves P.Z.’s beard.”
“Woohoo! Like Springfield, there should be a Skepchick in every state. In reference to below, birds are cooler, but a monkey could take on a bird any day; I still have to go with bird, although I have a friend who would go with monkey (she’d hurt me if I dissed monkeys).”
“I should probably be more involved in the skeptical community. There are not many groups I can relate to but this one.”
“Seriously, skepchicon sounds awesome, just like all the other cool conferences, but us people stuck in Wales hardly have anything to go to. Tell Rebecca to visit that country next to her newly adopted country, too, and make her bring Ben Goldacre, Singh, Wiseman, Minchin, and all the other Skeptic League superheroes!”
“thanks for what you’re all doing, it was one of the factors which inspired us to set up Irish Skeptics in the pub.”
“Why does everything get manufactured using equipment that also processes nuts? I mean who is buying and eating all the nuts?!??!”
“the commentors on your blog are your real treasure. They are, for the most part, funny, insightful, and intelligent.”
“In college, I used to be around radical feminists who used to play the male guilt card a lot. Though Skepchick, I’ve met a lot of great people. I like that Skepchick is pro-female, and not anti-maie. I feel like I’m part of a community.”
“Skepchick is fantastic. I can marry my two primary interests of skepticism and feminism in an arena that it open to all. I couldn’t recommend it more highly.”
“THE QUESTION OF FREEWILL IS A MALFORMED QUESTION. WHAT DOES FREE WILL EVEN MEAN? WHAT IS ITS EXACT DEFINITION?”
“Best online community on the ‘Net.”
“I touched myself while doing this. Skeptically.”
Great site. The best thing is that the commentors are about as well behaved as you’ll find on the internet. Even if you completely disagree, there is no excuse whatsoever for being a belligerent and insulting idiot.
“Velociraptors are incredible beasts. Imagine if we could tame them and ride them like horses! Who needs tanks when you can ride a living, breathing KILLING MACHINE. With a ground speed of 40mph and various flanking maneuvers, what isn’t to love. Suffice to say, I love velociraptors, but am equally afraid of them.”
“I’ve decided I don’t like those boiled-sweet type lollipops. They’re ok to begin with, but eventually you have to bite them off the stick and crunch them, and that’s where I check out. That is all.”
“As a bro-man dudenguy, I find everything on the site about womens issues (and all that jazz) fascinating, and it’s written with a frankness (is that a word?) that I’m not otherwise exposed to. So, that’s awesome.”
“I wish there were still Pterodactyls around. The would look really cool.”
“There are no moments in life that pizza can’t improve.”