Horoscopes: Why Do Women Read Them?

Horoscopes are a girl thing. You may cry ?Gender essentialism!? at such a sweeping broad all-encompassing statement, but we've got years of lunchtime conversations about Susan Miller as informal evidence to back us up, and never has a man chimed in to point out the myriad ways in which he's a textbook Aries and looking forward to the 12th of this month. Also, remember when Mercury was in retrograde a few months ago and we all blamed our bad moods on the moon? That was a great excuse.

A new article now pinpoints why women are so drawn to the stars and vague applicable-to-all sentences - sexism. Yohana Desta over at Mashable points out that while astrology is dismissed by many men and women of science, and possible sense, she also mentions a 1995 study wherein it was revealed women are more likely to believe in astrology than men. 28% of women reported reading their horoscopes as opposed to 23% of men. While not incredibly telling figures, the slant towards women seeking their fortune in the back pages of magazines, aimed solely at their sex, is curious.

Desta looked at women's beliefs in general - we're more likely to be religious and are twice as likely as men to see fortunetellers. Why? The patriarchy. Desta points to sociology studies that find women ?accept the psychological comfort and institutional support of religion" because of the imbalance of male power privilege in the world. Us gals also tend towards an external locus of control, meaning we don't believe we have much control over what happens in our lives. An internal locus of control means you, and only you, determines your life.


So next time someone dismisses your scrambling for a daily star sign fix, inform them that your locus of control is a little bit off what with the global economy crumbling and the whole continuing gender imbalance in the workplace thing. ?Then ask would they like you to read their horoscope aloud?

Follow Jeanne Sutton on Twitter @jeannedesutun

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