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48104Re: psychology of boatbuilding

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  • Susan Davis
    Jan 31, 2006
      Patrick Crockett:
      > It appears that it may be the case that men are slightly
      > more likely to be interested in some other creative endeavors
      > (artists, authors, musicians)

      Not in my experience -- the artsy people I know are overwhelmingly
      skewed toward women.

      > The difference in
      > interest in boatbuilding is way too large to be due to culture, I
      > think.

      I'm not so sure about that. Interest in building boats seems fairly
      similar between men and women among people who are interested and
      willing to work with power tools, but there's a strong sense in the
      dominant culture that power tools are a "guy thing" and that women who
      use them are weird and vaguely threatening. Interest in owning boats
      or other vehicles for recreation -- especially in owning more than
      one! -- does seem to skew more toward men, which may further
      contribute to the phenomenon.

      There also may be a generational factor at work: many boatbuilding
      people I've met have tended to skew older than the median, and younger
      women are a bit less hamstrung by pre-feminist gender roles.

      > So -- what gives? What is it about building boats that interests
      > men but not women?

      I'm not sure that interest, per se, is the limiting factor. Many
      women who I've spoken with have just never had it occur to them that
      they could successfully build a boat in a reasonable amount of time,
      effort, and skill. I've gotten several female friends involved in
      building boats of their own (or repairing existing boats) simply by
      describing how easy instant boat and stitch-and-glue building methods
      can be.

      Susan Davis <futabachan@...>
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