Episode 109: The Biology of Religious Patriarchy

womenWhy are religious moralists so preoccupied with sex? Attitudes on sexuality are far more predictive of religiosity than attitudes on charity, social justice or any other measure. Religious scriptures abound with rules and restrictions aimed at controlling women’s sexuality in particular. Is the current religious obsession with sex just an unfortunate result of religion’s male-dominated history or are there deeper forces at work? On this episode the doubtcasters review recent studies which illuminate possible procreative strategies underpinning religious patriarchy. Also on this episode: the supreme court hears gay marriage cases, the Pope Who Stole Christmas and fan favorite Ed Brayton joins us to discuss his new book about the violence and intimidation many secular activists face when defending the separation of church and state.

Download RD109

Or subscribe and listen in iTunes or any podcast client:



  1. says

    Love your podcast. I am an artist and put up a Saturnalia graphic on my blog site – http://anywhenart.blogspot.com/ – that is formatted to be used as a card. You are welcome to it. Why not? I use your stuff as well. I previously refered to myself as an ecumenical atheist, but polyatheist is even better.

  2. Dan says

    What was the name of those doggone tribal people? I’ve been trying to look up an article on that study to send to a family member.

    Love the show, keep it up! Glad you had Ed Brayton on. Any idea what happened to his podcast?

  3. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Dan #2:

    What was the name of those doggone tribal people?

    Dogon. Menstrual huts are easier to remember and search for.

    Article: Epiphenom – Do ‘world religions’ make cuckoldry easier?

  4. says

    Dan said:

    Glad you had Ed Brayton on. Any idea what happened to his podcast?

    It’s on (possibly permanent) hiatus while he works on his book.

  5. Martin says

    Excellent podcast, really fun and instructive to hear.
    The description by Ed Brayton of his book is very promising, a book I will certainly look forward to.
    I raise one question: is it right to have children become the figureheads for moral causes?
    In the Jessica Ahlquist case, I had read that her uncle, or some close male relative, is a member of a group I also belong to, FFRF. The opposition to the prayer banner in the school would most likely have come initially from the adults in the family, and to put a 16 year-old at the forefront of the case is a decision I, as a adoptive parent of now grown children, would not have done.
    Ostracism is a terrible condition to be put in, at any age, and children especially are at a terrible risk at being unable to handle the pressures wrought by violent, spiteful, rage-filled peers and their parents. I of course do not like child preachers, nor children being intimidated into going to church, and perhaps others may see this as concern-trolling, but I would be interested in hearing whether Ed is going to investigate this angle, and if the fine folks of RD would have importuned any of their children or nephews/nieces to press this kind of matter.

  6. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Article: Wikipedia – Ahlquist v. Cranston, Lawsuit…

    “In July 2010, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sent a letter to the school superintendent on behalf of an unnamed parent who complained about the banner. Initially, school officials thought the banner could be modified, avoiding the prohibitive expense of a lawsuit.

    Ahlquist had noticed the banner in her first year in high school. After reading about the complaint, she decided to sit in on the school board meetings. She also created a Facebook page to raise support for the cause.”

    @Martin #5:

    The opposition to the prayer banner in the school would most likely have come initially from the adults in the family

    Think about the assumption you made there.

    I of course do not like child preachers, nor children being intimidated into going to church, and perhaps others may see this as concern-trolling


  7. Lothar Zogg says

    OK, you start off most podcasts with a little Republican bashing. That’s fine, it’s your show. But, as long as you present yourselves as fair-minded skeptics, you might provide a little balance occasionally. You take Marco Rubio to task for fumbling his way through the hit question about the age of the earth. You might care to provide some balance and quote our current President, when he was a senator, reacting to the same question thus, “Whether it happened exactly as we might understand it reading the text of the Bible, that I don’t presume to know.” Just in the interest of being “fair and balanced”.

  8. birgerjohansson says

    John, some of your artwork/caricatures remind me strongly of the artwork in the MAD magazine I grew up with.
    And since satire is such a good medium for ridiculing sanctimonious assholes, you own a powerful tool, should you decide to dedicate yourself to it. :-)

  9. says


    When one party is obviously and egregiously more unscientific than another, it would hardly be fair to pretend that they are equally so.

  10. says

    Aw, this was a very nice post. In concept I would like to put in writing like this moreover – taking time and actual effort to make an excellent article… however what can I say… I procrastinate alot and on no account seem to get one thing done

  11. Brad says

    OK, sorry for the diversion. Is there a better way to write to, or to ask a question of, the Doubtcasters other than to use one of these comment threads?

    What I want to do is request that the esteemed gents cover the subject of Christians and guns, and the subject of what the NT suggests that Jesus might think or say about the American gun culture were he to materialize at, say, an NRA press conference. In my experience, there seems to be a really strong correlation between being a devout evangelical Christian and being at the same time an owner of a small arsenal of powerful, rapid-firing weapons.

    On another forum frequented by some Christians, today I asked the following:

    If Jesus were among us today, would Jesus own, or wish to own, a Glock or an AR-15 or a similar weapon?

    If Jesus were among us today, would Jesus own a high-capacity magazine for a firearm?

    If the answer to either of the above questions is yes, according to anyone here, please explain how so.

    What kind of firearms would Jesus own, if any?

    If Jesus were among us today and owned a firearm of any sort, would Jesus be interested in armor-piercing or frangible ammunition?

    If Jesus were among us today and was a U.S. citizen, would he be concerned at all about his rights under the Second Amendment of the Constitution?

    I’d love to hear the RD fellows’ take on these kinds of questions, too.

  12. says

    May I speak to Lora,please? I work for the governmentI doubt itShe was injured badly in the accident.I will arrange everything.Let’s take a short break for lunch.You asked for it!Can you cover for me on Fridayhelp me tell me how to get there?You are a chicken.Can you put me in the picture about the World Cup Football Match?

  13. says

    What be said did not annoy me much, for I knew he did not mean it.I have never seen the movie.Talking with you is a pleasure.Would you help me with the report?He was born in New York.The show is supposed to be goodThe show is supposed to be goodHer family are all music lovers.You can get what you want.I am familiar with the casual atmosphere in the company.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *