For decades, women have been the strongest consumers of astrology. Flip open popular women’s magazines like Elle, Cosmopolitan or Marie Claire and you’ll find delicately detailed horoscope sections, guiding women on the best times to find love, save money and achieve career success. Research also shows that women actually tend to believe in astrology more than men.
For decades, women have been the strongest consumers of astrology. Flip open popular women’s magazines like Elle, Cosmopolitan or Marie Claire and you’ll find delicately detailed horoscope sections, guiding women on the best times to find love, save money and achieve career success. The most famous astrologer in the world is Susan Miller, whose audience includes celebrities and the fashion world (she also has a column in Elle).
According to psychologists H.J. Eysenck and D.K.B. Nias, astrology is defined as: “The study that deals with the connections believed to exist between the positions of the planets at the moment of someone’s birth and that person’s character, development, profession, marriage and general life history.”
Invented by the Babylonians in the second millenium B.C., according to author James H. Holden in his book A History of Horoscopic Astrology, it was practiced by literate “wise men” of the society. Aside from identifying good and bad omens, astrology was also used to conduct exorcisms and appease various gods, Holden writes.
Anyone can easily read a horoscope online, in a magazine or in a newspaper. Astrologer appointments can be arranged. Googling the phrase “Free astrology report” surfaces more than 700,000 results.
Modern astrology rests heavily on something called the Barnum Effect, he says. It’s when people read a general statement or description that can slickly apply to their personal lives. Phrases like “You will soon experience happiness” could technically be in your horoscope, but could also apply to millions of people.
If astrology has a universal appeal toward all people, what’s with the slant toward women? Well, according to polls and scientific research, women tend to believe more in the unproven and the supernatural than men. A 2009 Gallup poll, showed women are twice as likely as men to see a fortuneteller or psychic. They also tend to be more religious.
Murray is not the first woman to feel unfairly targeted by the female-leaning branding of astrology, and she won’t be the last. Heavy-handed marketing seems to skews toward women, despite the fact not all believe in it. Read more…