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.



Please spread this stuff around!
Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone


  • Terry Haryett

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

    That must have spun some heads at UBC.

  • joe anon

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


  • Joel Johannesen

    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.

  • David Stanton

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

    David Stanton

    group ideas

    • JoelJohannesen

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