Female Attendance Down at TAM, the Annual Atheists Meeting

Religion News Service | Culture | Gender & Sexuality | Do atheists have a sexual harassment problem?.

There is conjecture about the reasons for a relative reduction in female attendance at the annual TAM gathering of skeptics. This year, women only comprise 31 percent of the 1200 attendees, compared to 40 percent at last years meeting. Reasons given range from the declining economy to typically female duties as caregivers. Men outnumber females in the Atheist or skeptic category, but it appears that the disparity might be increasing.

Another possible reason for the reduced attendance, judging from the gossip at online forums and blogs are reports of sexual harassmen, sexism and unwanted touching at the meetings. This has led to the institution of sexual harassment policies in various skeptic associations, and pressure on the TAM leadership to do the same. TAM has hired an outside consultant to address matters of sexual harassment.