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What is the gender gap in cycling and why is it a problem?

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What is the gender gap in cycling and why is it a problem?


What is the gender gap in cycling and why is it a problem?


Institutional Affiliation

What is the gender gap in cycling and why is it a problem?

1.0 Introduction

Cycling acts as an alternative to private automobiles because it is healthier and sustainable. Across the United States cycling as a form of sustainable transport is faced with the reality of gender-based differences as a crucial significant policy challenge. A study conducted by Bell and Ferretti (2015) reveals that historically women have been less likely to use bicycles than men; therefore, underlining an existing gender gap in cycling. There is evidence suggesting that this trend is changing among the millennial generation, but the overall gender gap in cycling remains (Bell & Ferretti, 2015). As a result, city planning authorities in the United States are developing cycling-related policies and programs targeting the millennial generation because they consistently demonstrate a more positive attitude towards cycling. There is a growing concern for city planners to explore the causes of the gender-based differences in cycling and subsequently come up with solutions that could overcome this policy challenge. 

2.0 The gender gap in cycling

According to De Lanversin, Suzuki, and Whitelegg (2012), it is no secret that in the United States more men are likely to ride bikes in the cities than women. Various reports have indicated that men are twice more likely to use bicycles as a form of transport in the major cities across the United States (Bell & Ferretti, 2015). As depicted in Figure 1, on average in 2016, the quantity of cycling made by men was thrice the number of cycle trips made by women; while the usage of bicycles in men was over four times the number posted by women. For example, 5% of men cycle once or twice a week compared to 1% of women. Men are more likely to ride bicycles for transport purposes as opposed to recreational reasons compared to women. Across the cities in the United States, at least 4% of male workers cycle to work compared to 1.5% of female workers. On the other hand, 6% of men and 1.5% of women cycle once or twice a week for pleasure.


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