I think women tend to be more emotionally driven so IMO males have an edge when it comes to becoming an apostate. Many women (gatherer types) feel the need for group security and emotional support whereas many men tend to be less prone to that kind of attachment (lone hunter types).
That said, there are plenty of exceptions. There are times when the majority posting here are female and vise versa.
I am female. My husband had doubts in his 20s. I didn't catch on until 40.
(generally) to accept objective info than women as they are more emotionally attached/bonded to the beliefs. There are exceptions, of course. I left, hubby did not. I was a convert,he is a generational Mormon. So many factors play into who and when members leave the LDS Church. Desire, willingness to let go of the emotional bond is at the core, I think.
You just cannot generalize really. I am female, and I left because it wasn't the damn truth. I studied my way out. Yeah, it was painful, and I cried a lot, but I was compelled as a smart, inquisitive person to find answers to my questions. When I found evidence of all the deceit and was shined on by those (in authority) who I personally interviewed to answer my questions. I only had one choice to make. I had to live according to the dictates of my own conscience. My husband hated me for it. My whole family issued a campaign to get me back on track. I could not be tied to that track anymore waiting for the next train to slice through me. It was not easy. I lost my whole security system, but over the years, those who truly love me and know that I will not bow to something I do not believe, have accepted me as I am and we just go from there. I am given respect, even if they do not agree with my decision to leave. I own my personhood and they can see that, and they do not cross my boundaries any more.
I know plenty of men and women who have made a similar journey and I think all of us where tethered in ways that made the break hard on us. Men lose their priesthood status and pretense of ordering the world, and women lose their "activity friends". I won't say we lose our "emotional support" because in all the years that I was in Mo land, I had to suppress what was really going on in my marriage (rejection and emotional abuse) and what was going on in my life because it is verboten to actually admit that you are not happy and fulfilled as a member of the ONE TRUE CHURCH ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH. In other words, you can't be real, talk and feel real -- you have to pretend all the time. This is not good for anyone.
I have not had it easy. but I am very proud of the fact that I faced down the dragon and wielded my own flaming sword (I love the Emma's flaming sword moniker, by the way).
This was before the internet and all the support we get here -- so, it can be done, as many of us know. Yeah, some women my cry more openly but we also battle more fiercely when we need to survive. My husband did all in his power to make sure I knew my humble bumble place, but to him, he was just living his religion.....holy shiite.
Just don't need to be the little woman anymore.
I am healthy in my heart of hearts. Yes, sad sometimes that so much was lost --- but so happy that so much more was found.
I have a theory based on the fact that most of the apostates in my family are women (with the lone male exception being my husband).
Mormon cultures tend to really emphasize 'traditional' gender roles. I think the reason the ladies in my family apostatize is that for each of us, deep dissatisfaction with Mormon gender roles motivated a serious intellectual re-evaluation of Mormonism in general. My brothers, all Peter Priesthoods, are entitled to authority and liberties that the women in the family have never had (as faithful LDS anyway). I think they're less motivated to question their beliefs because of the advantages of being a Mormon male. I think if they ran into significant roadblocks, pressures and dissatisfaction in virtue of their responsibilities, they'd start asking questions too.
Most of the people I know who have left the church, male and female, did so on intellectual grounds and not because of emotional considerations. I don't think women are more driven by emotions than men, but I do agree that because we were treated differently in Mormon culture, the experiences that motivate intellectual re-evaluation of the church's claims, might loosely correlate along gender lines.
I wonder if it is about 50/50 really. I lost faith in the church because of the doctrine. DW lost faith because the programs didn't feel right to her. They didn't meet her spiritual needs. I didn't care about whether it felt right, or even if JS had more than one wife, it just didn't logically make sense to me.
So maybe gender has more of an effect on the reason people leave rather than sheer numbers (just my own subjective take on it based on my experience).
I only knew men who left the church. All my friends after high school were all exmos or at least inactive. In my family two out of three boys are exmo, and my one sister is at least inactive maybe exmo.
I'm sure there were women who left at the same time, but I really wasn't aware of it. I wish I was, it might have been easier to get a girlfriend. Trying to pick up nevermo girls is hard, they have several years advantage on me. At 27 it's like having the sexual maturity of 12 year old boy. It's like being in a state of arrested development. Also, it's really hard to come clean about being an exmo, and when I do it ends in disaster.
The point is I only knew men who left, and I'm sure if I was female I would probably only know female exmos.