Atheists roughly as distrusted as rapists, university study finds

I don’t even know what preamble to write here.  Except to say I’m a Christian.

Atheists roughly as distrusted as rapists, UBC study finds

Date: Thursday Dec. 1, 2011 10:15 AM PT

Atheists are distrusted to roughly the same degree as rapists, according to a new University of British Columbia study exploring distaste for disbelievers.

The research, led by UBC psychology doctoral student Will Gervais, found distrust to be the central factor motivating antagonism toward atheists among the religious.

“Where there are religious majorities – that is, in most of the world – atheists are among the least trusted people,” Gervais said in a release.


The results suggested anti-atheist prejudice was characterized by distrust, while anti-gay prejudice was characterized by disgust.

For another part of the study, 105 UBC students between the ages of 18 and 25 were presented with a description of an untrustworthy person – an “archetypal freerider” who committed selfish and illegal acts when he thought he could get away with it.

Subjects were more likely to find the description representative of atheists than Christians, Muslims, gay men, feminists or Jewish people. Only rapists were similarly distrusted.

“People did not significantly differentiate atheists from rapists,” the study said.



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Contact the Editor: Joel Johannesen


5 Responses to Atheists roughly as distrusted as rapists, university study finds

  1. Terry Haryett Thursday December 1, 2011 at 7:41 am at 7:41 AM #

    That anti-gay stuff and disgust, that can't be politically correct.

    That must have spun some heads at UBC.

  2. joe anon Friday December 9, 2011 at 4:17 pm at 4:17 PM #

    This is beyond moronic. Even by the moronic standards set by you.


  3. Joel Johannesen
    Joel Johannesen Saturday December 10, 2011 at 2:42 am at 2:42 AM #

    But "joe anon," your vacuous comment is the very epitome of the truly "moronic," so I'm not sure your point will be well taken by anybody.  Do try harder. Or maybe you're satirizing a typical liberal argument?  If so, well done.

  4. David Stanton Friday August 17, 2012 at 9:22 am at 9:22 AM #

    Well, last time I checked being atheist does not make you a racist.

    David Stanton

    group ideas

    • JoelJohannesen Friday August 17, 2012 at 9:54 am at 9:54 AM #

      Last time I checked, the word “racist” did not appear in this article.