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Are MP Users Abnormally Skewed Toward Being Male Users?


Original Post
Bill Lawry · · New Mexico · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,551

Let's maybe gather some stats.

Out of the thread "How do female MP users feel about these photos?", one question is whether the MP gender stats are skewed toward male users due to online misogyny (real or not).

This is an open invitation to folks in outside climb groups with member registration:  If inclined to contribute, copy whatever is the latest (i.e., complete) table in this thread.  Post your group's information.  Let's limit this to climb-oriented groups for now. Your "Group Identifier" should be clear enough to avoid duplicate entries.

Please do not add groups that are by definition limited to one gender or one sexual orientation ... since MP is not.

I'll update the table in this original post as am able.

%Male / %Female : #Male / #Female  : MP User  : Group ID : Geo-Scope : Active Open-Event Calendar?

80% / 20% : (?/?) : Nick Wilder : MP (Worldwide) : No

74% / 26% : (32/11) : Bill Lawry : CNMTC (USA-NM) : Yes

62% / 37% : (?/?) : FosterK : ACC (Canada) : Yes (hosted instruction)

61% / 39% : (1,330/849) : Lena chita : International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) : Yes (hosted competitions)

  • IFSC Austria - 48% / 52%
  • IFSC France - 59% / 41%

American Time Use Survey (15 years & older, 2003-2010)

  • 72% / 28% : (80,640 / 31,360) : Lena chita : individual sports (study #1) : Yes (organized sports)
  • 80% / 20% : (89,600 /  22,400) : Lena chita : team sports (study #1) : Yes (organized sports)
  • 81% / 19% : (2,332 / 547) : Lena chita : individual sports (study #2) : Yes (organized sports) 
  • 90% / 10% : (2,591 / 288) : Lena chita : team sports (study #2) : Yes (organized sports)
  • 74% / 26% : (? / ?) : Lena chita : intramural college / university (study #3) : Yes (organized sports)

Note:  Smaller and so socially "tighter" groups are certainly not the same as jumbo MP which offers significantly greater anonymity.  But if MP's overall ratio is the same as smaller groups, then maybe sexism on MP (if any) is really not pushing women away?  And even if the ratios are equivalent, it is of course still an open question of whether there is still a problem.

FosterK · · Edmonton, AB · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 43

Bill Lawry wrote:


Note:  Smaller and so socially "tighter" groups are certainly not the same as jumbo MP which offers significantly greater anonymity.  But if MP's overall ratio is the same as smaller groups, then maybe sexism on MP (if any) is really not pushing women away?  And even if the ratios are equivalent, it is of course still an open question of whether there is still a problem.

You'd be better off framing this hypothesis a little differently, as participation is not equivalent to membership. Additionally, similar membership ratios may only indicate the problem is more pervasive.

That said, here is some membership information, for the Alpine Club of Canada for 2017: https://www.alpineclubofcanada.ca/web/ACCMember/Membership/2017_Member_Survey/ACCMember/Membership/2017_Member_Survey.aspx?hkey=eeba4ce7-cff6-41ac-9bd6-b5f52552c714

2017: Male: 62% Female 37% Prefer not to disclose: 1%

2006: Male 69% Female 31% 

Bill Lawry · · New Mexico · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,551

FosterK wrote:

You'd be better off framing this hypothesis a little differently, as participation is not equivalent to membership. Additionally, similar membership ratios may only indicate the problem is more pervasive.

That said, here is some membership information, for the Alpine Club of Canada for 2017: 

Thank your for the stats, FosterK.  Agreed, it was a crudely designed survey.  But I figure that participation would be difficult to easily obtain from multiple online organizations.

ColinW · · San Diego, CA · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 70

.....Does it really matter brother? Can Lynn Hill climb harder than most of her Stonemaster tribe? Yes. Can Margo Hayes send 5.15a more easily than a 20yr climbing veteran? Yes. Is rock climbing a more male dominant sport? Yes. 

Just respect everyone, regardless of their gender or the grade at which they climb. Because everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Cheers! 

Tim Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,470

This place is a sausage party. Pfffft.

Sure miss forum regs like Beatrix Kiddo. I know where she is in Realife™ of course, and that she isn't up to posting here. On the other hand, it's cool seeing women from rockclimbing.com over here now using their same handles. I like seeing pretty much anyone from rc.com here. Would it be venturing too far to say that for a short moment in time, that forum had a really great mix of posters and created some really fun socializing online? I mean, there were some fun times with lots of different views being expressed. I'm not entirely sure why it all lost steam and dissipated, but it could be because of some of the darker aspects of that socializing, namely some pretty awful baby snatching incidents and cannibalism. Man, remember the Donner Party party? Wow, I had no idea those ribs were Radclimer69. Meat just fell off the bone.

I guess I'm saying we can make this place great again, or like some other places. Or something. But creating the ladies forum sometime within the 2018 fiscal year could be a good step. We have a forum for dead people, we can make one for the ladies. 

Bill Lawry · · New Mexico · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,551

Tim Stich wrote:

... rockclimbing.com ... I'm not entirely sure why it all lost steam and dissipated, but it could be because of some of the darker aspects of that socializing, namely some pretty awful baby snatching incidents and cannibalism. Man, remember the Donner Party party? Wow, I had no idea those ribs were Radclimer69. Meat just fell off the bone.

That description does sound about right to me from a user perspective, especially the self-destructive "cannibalism" and "baby snatching."

And it'd be interesting if those with a better understanding of what happened over there had suggestions for avoiding it here.

I guess I'm saying we can make this place great again, or like some other places. Or something. But creating the ladies forum sometime within the 2018 fiscal year could be a good step. We have a forum for dead people, we can make one for the ladies. 

I agree.  FWIW, and sort of to ColinW's post, I started this thread wondering about the stats that Nick posted elsewhere - whether they were all that different from anywhere else.  Hard to get enough telling data.

Lena chita · · Cleveland, OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 735

Here are some figures for International Federation of Sport Climbing:
https://www.ifsc-climbing.org/index.php/media-centre/key-figures-2

  • 2,179 licensed athletes in 2016
  • 849 of these licensed athletes are women (that's ~39%)

    They also mention this:

    • Share of female climbers in Austria: 48% men, 52% women (source: KVO)
    • Share of female climbers in France in 2015: 59% men, 41% women (source: FFME)

Apparently the share of females in climbing is higher than in other sports, This is a reference that I found:

http://thesportjournal.org/article/examination-of-gender-equity-and-female-participation-in-sport/



The American Time Use Survey, consisting of 112,000 individuals, U.S. residents 15 years and older, from the years 2003-2010, found that females comprised 28% of those who participated in individual sports and 20% in team sports (7). The second study, Observations at Public Parks, documented a total of 2,879 sports and exercise participants at public parks at four U.S. locations, where it was found that females make up 19% of the participants in individual sports and 10% in team sports (7). The third study, Intramurals at Colleges and Universities, involved surveys of intramural sports registrations at colleges and universities in the U.S where it was found that women accounted for only 26% of registrations (7).

Tim Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,470

Very cool stats, and glad to hear! Now if only my daughter was more interested in climbing.

Bill Lawry · · New Mexico · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,551

Thank you, Lena chita, for the large amount of stats.

Makes me curious about purely online forums akin to MP, with isolable European and the US stats (i.e., social forums where folks generally do not get together in person for some activity).  

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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