Jessica Schoner’s dissertation work on Bicycling’s Gender Gap got written up in Wired
The researchers turned up three especially interesting findings. The first is that in single-bicyclist homes, men are roughly twice as likely as women to ride. But when you’ve got two or more cyclists living together, that gap disappears. That could be because living with a cyclist encourages people of any gender to starting biking, or because people who enjoy cycling end up in the same home through marriage or friendship. “I don’t know what direction causality goes,” Schoner says.
The second finding is that among people who rode at least once on the day they kept their travel diary, there is no gender gap when it comes to the number of trips taken that day. In other words, women who ride do so just as frequently as men. “This suggests,” Schoner and Lindsey write, “that much of the remaining gender gap can be attributed to a participation gap, not an intensity gap.”
Finally, the 2010 data shows that having kids doesn’t lead to people biking less. That’s a change: In 2000, a parent was only half as likely to be a cyclist as a non-parent. There’s no gender difference here, but because women bear the greater burden when it comes to childcare, it’s encouraging news for those working to shrink the gender gap. “The relationship between having children and bicycling is complex and unclear,” Schoner says, but “having children may be becoming less of a barrier to bicycling over time.”