June 15, 2010
Isn't risky behavior supposed to be a guy thing?
While I don't like stereotypes and hate to sound like some kind of bigoted crackpot, occasionally I notice things which force me to ask basic "why" questions. And because this one simply doesn't make sense, I thought I would share it with the readers, who can hopefully fill me in on what I am missing.
I run every other day, I take a lot of long walks with the dogs, and I also drive around Ann Arbor. Now that there are a lot of runners outside, I have been noticing that the runners who run while wearing headphones (presumably because they are listening to music), are overwhelmingly female. I am not just talking about them being more likely than men to run while wearing headphones. There is a huge difference. The vast majority of women runners (more than 70%) wear headphones, and the vast majority of men (again, more than 70%) do not. It's really like a 10 to 1 headphone ratio, and there are a lot of men running, but they rarely wear headphones. Women almost always do. (At least, they do around here.)
My question, simply, is what could be behind this?
Whether it goes to a basic difference between the sexes, I do not know. Since running with headphones is a dangerous activity and one which constitutes risk-taking behavior (runners are less likely to hear cars), and since the stereotype is that men are more likely to engage in risky behavior than women, I would expect running with headphones to correlate with maleness.
I can't figure this out and it's driving me nuts because I want to understand, so at the risk of seeming like a bigot, I thought I'd run it past the readers.
Hopefully, this is only an Ann Arbor thing and not a general trend. The difference does not seem grounded in women liking music more than men, because from what I've seen, both sexes are equally likely to wear headphones while walking.
Perhaps it was sexist of me to think that risky behavior was a guy thing.
Sexist or not, I'm stumped.
posted by Eric on 06.15.10 at 06:02 PM
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