A gender gap in unicycling…an interesting topic. When I was the lone unicyclist in my neighbourhood, I often wondered where the girls were on rsu (with a few exceptions)?
Dave, I think the “anal” factors that you suggest are relevant. The absolute sex ratio of male to female unicyclists remains a mystery to me. On the newsgroup, the ratio is probably skewed towards males, even if you assume that all the posters that do not reveal their gender are male. The younger cohort of females is probably just as computer saavy as the boys…why don’t they post as frequently? One of my friends, appalled at the amount of time I spend lurking at rsu, suggested that maybe girls will check out the site, but are not as likely to post their accomplishments and problems. Most of the female recreational athletes that I asked said that they would prefer to just DO their activity, rather than engaging in micro-examination or sharing on the web. Alternatively, most preferred verbal discussion of their sports to web forums (though none of these people were unicyclists, and there are a heck of a lot more mountain bikers, soccer players, runners, etc. with whom to chat).
I was a lone unicyclist for about a year and a half before the Vancouver Unicyclists came into existence. I think (and someone can correct me on this) that the club ratio is currently 10+ males to 3 females. Assuming that there is an equal tendency by both sexes for group behaviour, you could compile the sex ratio of the various clubs (perhaps the more established ones to minimize bias) to get a rough idea of the number of active female unicyclists.
I can’t really comment on the two categories of juggling females that you suggest, Amos, but I think there may be a trend for guys to pick a hobby and master it. Aren’t there studies that demonstrate that North American females tend to multitask more than males? (I’m out of my league on this topic…I haven’t read the “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” series…if they have a unicycling section, do let me know ;)). Personally, I have the attention span of a gnat on crack, so I have more hobbies than I know what to do with…
Lastly, is the extreme side of unicycling attracting equal numbers of males and females, or is the number of males going into the sport increasing as a result of the recent exposure of trials and MUni? Though there appear to be more males than females who bike, is the sex ratio equal between different types of biking, e.g. downhill, trials, BMX, cross country and road? I’d like to think that sex is irrelevant to choosing to participate in potentially dangerous activities. It is probably not quite yet.
(I apologize for any gross generalizations rampant throughout this post. I will now stop procrastinating with stream-of- consciousness typing on the topic of “Gender and the Single Wheel,” and get back to my report writing…)