[CQ-Contest] Important Issues

Bill Turner dezrat1242 at ispwest.com
Wed Oct 26 10:58:58 EDT 2005

At 12:25 PM 10/25/2005, Kenneth E. Harker wrote:

>What I rarely hear is why ham radio seems to be so unattractive to women
>in the 50-80 year old age brackets.  I'm certain that less than 2% of those
>making contest contacts are women, and yet women in the 50-80 year old
>age bracket should have all the same life circumstances as the men that
>are attracted to radio at that age.  Fundamentally, I don't see why women of
>that age couldn't have as much fun in ham radio as at bridge tournaments or
>cook-offs or any of a number of other competitive activities.


Having studied women all my life, I think I can answer your question:

1. Women do not like talking to men they do not know unless they are 
introduced by a third party. Men are much more comfortable with this.

2. Women especially do not like initiating a conversation with men 
they do not know. In my 47 years on the air I have never heard a YL 
calling CQ for anything other than DXing or contesting. Never for 
ragchewing. I'm sure it happens sometimes, but it is rare.

3. When women do converse, they make greater use of 'body language' 
than men do and without those subtle visual clues are less likely to 
enjoy the conversation. Men can yak away on CW or RTTY for hours and 
have a good time. Women would find this strange.

There is more, but you get the idea. IMO, ham radio will always be 
primarily a male hobby. How many YLs do you know who got a license 
entirely on their own, with no prompting from a husband or other male 
friend? I know exactly one, and I believe she got the ticket to meet 
someone, not because of any interest in ham radio. When she did meet 
a nice guy and got married, she gave up ham radio.

73, Bill W6WRT

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