Thursday, November 09, 2006

Characteristics of North American Bird Blogs: Gender of Authors

In my attempt to compile a comprehensive list of North American bird blogs, I was concerned only with the content and subject matter of the blogs that I reviewed. I made no conscious effort to include or exclude blogs based on age, gender, or other characteristics of the author(s).

Of 101 bird blogs (out of 119 total) for which the gender of the author(s) could be determined, 65 were authored by males, 27 by females, and 9 by mixed-sex teams. This preponderance of males among authors of North American bird blogs (by a ratio in excess of 2:1) is surprising.

According to the 2001 National Survey of Fish, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation (.pdf), U.S. females were more likely than males to engage in wildlife-watching activities (54 percent versus 46 percent of the total wildlife-watching population).

Others can speculate about the reasons for the preponderance of male bird bloggers. I’ll just point out that, although they may be under-represented in number, some of the most prominent of the North American bird bloggers are women; four who immediately come to mind are Laura Erickson, Amy Hooper, Sharon Stiteler, and Julie Zickefoose.

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