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Beyond the bicycle: seeing the context of the gender gap in cycling

Shaw, Caroline, Russell, Marie, Keall, Michael, MacBride-Stewart, Sara, Wild, Kirsty, Reeves, Dory, Bentley, Rebecca and Woodward, Alistair 2020. Beyond the bicycle: seeing the context of the gender gap in cycling. Journal of Transport and Health 18 , 100871. 10.1016/j.jth.2020.100871
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Background In most countries women cycle less than men. This is despite the clear environmental and health benefits of active commuting. Feminist critiques suggest this gender gap reflects societal roles and values, yet there has been little empirical research on the differences in men's and women's cycling in the context of total travel. Methods Regression analyses were used to explore the travel mode and distance travelled of 49 965 participants in the nationally representative, continuous, cross-sectional New Zealand Household Travel Survey (2002–2014). Regular cyclists were people who cycled at least 10 days in the preceding month. We reported results by gender and cyclist status. Results Car was the dominant mode of travel for all groups. While fewer women regularly cycled (2%) compared to men (5%), women travelled less each day (12–17% less distance) and were more likely to use public transport and walk than men. These gender patterns were broadly replicated in people who were regular cyclists. Women made 17–47% more motorised trips of less than 5 km than men each day. Overall half of regular cyclists achieved 600 METS or above per week through travel related physical activity, compared to 11–15% of non-regular cyclists. Even after full model adjustment men had more than twice the odds (OR 2.58 (95%CI:2.29–2.92)) of cycling compared to women. Conclusions Men are more likely to cycle than women in NZ and cyclists get more physical activity. Nonetheless, analysis across all travel (irrespective of regularity of cycling status) suggests that women use more diverse travel modes and generate lower greenhouse gas emissions than men. Better consideration of the social processes shaping travel is needed to create policy, institutions, programmes and infrastructure that achieve the long term goals of the transport system, such as increasing cycling and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Sustainable Places Research Institute (PLACES)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 2214-1405
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 29 June 2020
Date of Acceptance: 30 April 2020
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2020 17:31

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