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).
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Men Support Abortion On Demand More Than Women
Razib Kahn of Gene Expression is someone on can rely on to take an unvarnished look at data which conflicts with cultural pieties. A call in to NPR prompted him to use the General Social Survey to take a look at whether abortion is really a "women's issue" in the sense that women are more likely to support abortion on demand than men. (A few years back I used the same question on the GSS to look at how women with no children are the most likely to support abortion on demand, while the more times a woman has actually given birth the less likely she is to support abortion.) Razib's results would be surprising to progressive cultural assumptions, though they're probably less so to most pro-lifers: