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Why Are More Women Interested in Astrology Than Men?

Lisa Ardere and Chris Brennan on The Astrology Podcast

In episode 189 astrologer Lisa Ardere joins the show to discuss why there seem to be more women who are interested in astrology than men, and some related questions that have become topics of discussion recently in the astrological community.

It is generally accepted that there seem to be a greater number of women who are into astrology than men, and different theories for why this is have been discussed in the astrological community for years.

The topic came up again recently with the publication of an article on November 15, 2018 titled Why Straight Men Hate Astrology So Much, by Hannah Ewens for Vice UK.

This prompted a lot of new discussion in the astrological community, including a piece by Samuel F. Reynolds titled Do Straight Men Really Hate Astrology?

In this episode Lisa and I sat down to talk about the issue, and discuss some different theories that are commonly put forward about the gender disparity in western astrology.

We tried to avoid drawing firm conclusions in terms of saying exactly why the disparity exists, since there are so many different contributing factors and views on the issue.

Instead we hoped to help open up the discussion for a wider audience, by highlighting the topic as part of an ongoing dialogue in the astrological community.

You can follow Lisa on Twitter @LisaArdere, or at ArdorAstrology.com.

This episode is available in both audio and video versions below.

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A full transcript of this episode is available: Episode 189 transcript

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  • More women might be interested in Astrology because we’re more in touch with our bodies; therefore more open to Celestial Bodies.

    • Are they? I’d be curious to explore the obesity rates for men and women–I believe it’s higher for women in Western societies, but don’t quote me on it.

  • Having spent 33 years in high-tech and especially in “silicon valley”, in california, Ignoring the question of “straight white males”, I can attest to a general attitude among many of the more materialistic folks, of what has been called “scientific fundamentalism”. Risking sweeping generalization, I believe this includes a general contempt for the possibility of anything “real” that you can’t stick a voltmeter probe into to prove its existence. Pretty much anything you can name that can’t be measured is considered nonexistent and those who believe in such things are either fools or duplicitous, or so the thinking goes. As a male with most of the planetary bodies and the ascendant in water, you might wonder whether this was a comfortable environment for me. It was not. But I did get a little more adept at explaining the existence of the unseen or at least at suggesting appropriate doubts, to the folks with whom I interacted.

  • Hi Matthew, I know plenty of techies who have the worldview you describe. Reading yr post made me wonder how do they believe in the money system that is more and more a matter of blind faith with nothing material to back it up? Just musing…

  • Hi Chris & Lisa! I love the podcast and really enjoyed this episode. I found the conversation thoughtful, nuanced, and inclusive. From an astrology perspective, I’m just a very nerdy lay person & can’t particularly speak to the ratio of men : women, etc, in professional spaces, but anecdotally I have encountered far more resistance (in quantity [i.e. # of resistant people] as well extremity [i.e. how loud/belligerent that resistance is!]) to astrology from cis hetero men than from the rest of the population. AND, as someone with a gender studies degree, it occurred to me that perhaps y’all would be interested in my #quickanddirty gender theory analysis re: the apparent “gender gap” in astrology. Of course there’s infinitely more nuance to the issue than a speedy macro-level analysis like this can do justice, but it occurred to me that some folks (& esp. astrologers seeking a larger pattern/framework for this apparent phenomenon) might be interested all the same!

    Basically, the crux of my analysis rests on the principle that certain (1) BODIES and (2) EPISTEMOLOGIES (not unrelated) are, in our current (white supremacist patriarchal capitalist etc) social climate, granted varying degrees of privilege (or not lol), and that the social *cost* of entry into alternative (i.e. “un”privileged) epistemologies is GREATEST to the bodies that are most privileged for the very reason that folks with (potential) access to the highest spaces social privilege have the most to lose (by association) from venturing outside of certain prescribed practices & epistemologies.

    So probably y’all can see where I’m going from here!! Keeping this analysis centered on strictly gender/sexuality for the sake of simplicity (since obviously in the real world there are so many factors – not to mention other axes of identity like race, class, ability, etc. – nuancing & complicating this), we can say that “men” (and more specifically, straight cis men) as a category occupy PRIVILEGED bodies in a patriarchal society (i.e. ours lol). But in order for “men” to maintain this status, “women” and most queer folks must be “other”-ed (& consequentially they[/we] inhabit LESS privileged bodies and spaces). There is SO MUCH that goes into how & why his happens, but let’s just take as axiomatic for the moment that it’s happening. Now, the privileged *epistemologies* of our Western industrialized society (which at this point dominates most of the globe) are capital-R Rationalism & the scientific method (aka a very *specific* form of supposedly “objective” [lol] empiricism). This fact is exceptionally gendered & IN NO WAY unrelated to “men” being the privileged category of (gendered) human, but without getting into all of the reasons how & why these things are so deeply entwined, all we need is a simple Venn diagram to see that the HIGHEST spaces of potential *gender privilege* (again, for simplicity’s sake briefly overlooking other identity factors) are accessible exclusively to (straight cis) male bodies WHO ALSO EXEMPLIFY a Rational/rational worldview.

    *****tl;dr – “men” as a category can access levels of social privilege that others are always already barred from by adhering as closely as possible to the dominant Rationalist epistemology; since astrology (at least according to most mainstream/shallow understandings of it) doesn’t square with that epistemology, “men” have the most to lose by openly exploring it as a potentially generative avenue of knowledge and are therefore (in our current historical moment/social climate) less likely to do so.*****


    p.s./side notes –

    1. for above reasons, astrology is often (whether accurately or not!!) lumped in with "woo" spirituality from a mainstream perspective & it's no surprise that "woo" spirituality is largely shat on by DRC (dominant rationalist culture) bc all things "woo" become culturally associated w/ femininity and *subjective* (i.e. "inferior" again LOL) ways of knowing/experiencing/navigating the world (e.g. emotion, intuition, cooperation).
    2. as something of an inverse to my main point, we might note that shitting on "woo" and other culturally feminized epistemologies does not only show up as a *symptom* of male/masculine privilege, but can actually be deployed as a TOOL to shore up one's own male/masculine privilege. again this is super complex social stuff and in no way limited to literal male-bodied/male-identified individuals BUT in the same way that carrying guns, going to the gym and "getting ripped," blahblahblah etc. are very boring/obvious ways that we might observe individual "men" actually reinscribing/REIFYING their "maleness" and shoring up their male privilege (bc gender AS a construct, as well as [esp. for " men"] one's OWN privileged gender status, must be perpetually reinforced [and masked as natural] in order to maintain gender-based hierarchies) – we might say that loudly shitting on astrology (and all things "woo") can actually be employed by cis het men as a socially accepted TOOL to claim & assert one's culturally centered position within a privileged (masculinized) epistemology and therefore is a somewhat more roundabout/covert way of *laying claim to*, asserting, shoring up, etc. etc. . . . . . . . maleness (literally) and varying degrees of male/masculine privilege.

    & so now we might be able to observe why "men" don't just seem less interested in astrology, but often seem MORE interested in shitting on astrology . . . . . . . bc outwardly taking an anti-"woo" (read: anti-feminine) stance can actually reify their maleness & reinscribe their own (male) privilege. I think that if we were to look more deeply into it we'd probably find that a lot of anti-astrology (& more broadly anti-"woo") arguments are full of coded language that's actually based in totally sexist and anti-feminine values & dichotomies (e.g. valuing "evidence" or "experience" / "logic" over "emotion" / etc.).

    ****p.s. tl;dr – men are rewarded &, in fact, reaffirmed AS men & AS privileged subjects w/in a gendered social hierarchy when they outwardly distance themselves/shit on "feminized" epistemologies (& all that other stuff associated with femininity) & therefore have more imperative to (loudly) do so****

    OKAY SO I know that this was *a lot* and I probably lost some folks/lots of folks are gonna disagree, and quite honestly a person could write probably write hundreds of pages on this topic without doing it full justice . . . . . but I really hope that this ridiculously informal, incomplete, #quickanddirty take from a gender theory perspective is helpful/interesting to some folks who are noticing a "gender gap" in astrological circles and curious about its potential origins!!

    love, alice

  • From my experience, men who would not on their own volition be seeking out anything esoteric, are also not interested academically in a lot of topics that would lead them down a path where they would see an overlap of astrology with the history of cultures, religion, mythology, psychology etc. And a completely non academic man just doesn’t want his girlfriend or wife to know that much about him. That is my take. I see this as men fearing women as being too intuitive, and too powerful in that way. Why give any credit to this tool they may be using? This fits into the cultural component mentioned above of men needing to maintain superiority and control over their environment. Just a thought. Burn the witches!

  • I’m pretty sure Vedic astrology is a balance of male/female. I’ve been studying Vedic astrology for nearly 25 years and I’ve never had the impression that it skewed female. In fact the thought has never crossed my mind.

    I think it’s because Vedic astrology is highly predictive. It’s factual, pragmatic – either you can predict events or you can’t.

    In contrast, Western astrology appears to me to be much more woolly and about counselling and choice and personality profiling.

    If Western astrology skews female it’s not because of astrology or woo or patriarchy. It’s because the Western approach is more feminine.

  • I found this podcast really difficult to listen to as I felt like Lisa was downplaying women and our experiences with astrology and similar fields in Western Astrology in favor of attempting to be more inclusive. I felt like she was actually more divisive, at least concerning myself, someone who is very proud to be a woman. Also, as a millennial, I think the Pluto in Scorpio generation is more welcoming of Astrology and magic (which you guys touched on with the Jupiter in Scorpio talk, and I know Austin’s brought it up in the past). I think this talk would’ve been great as a panel discussion to include more opinions from people of differing age ranges and genders.