View Full Version : Striking a Balance

31st January 2003, 12:21
Is it just my imagination, or is there a "critical mass" effect that drives a mixed juniors / teens class towards being either all male or all female?

On a couple of occasions, I've noticed that classes which were previously comprised almost entirely of boys had changed (over a period of weeks), to consisting almost entirely of girls,and vice versa.

Naturally, boys prefer to join in with other boys, and girls feel more comfortable joining in with other girls.

Maybe the ladies tend to sign up with friends, in groups of two or three. This can alter class dynamics dramatically in a very short space of time.

Perhaps instructors orientate their class to the largest common denominator, imparting a bias that tends to favour one sex or the other.

Maybe instructors (of either gender) relate better to one sex or the other? Maybe the balance changes if they take over a different class?

What's your opinion? Does the balance of sexes within a mixed class tend to remain static, or does it tend to overbalance towards one sex or the other?

Andy Watson
11th February 2003, 12:08
Good point.

In our iaido/jodo dojo we used to have a core element of exponents numbering about 6 of which two were women.

We now have about 15 people on the books of which 5 are women. Now of that 15 only about nine people turn up per class but the girls are frequent than the guys. That means that quite often there are more females then males.

I think that we have got this kind of 33% female proportions from exactly the influences you refer to. People see that we have regular female attendees and more women turn up.

Naturally the class starts to shape itself to being less machismo and so becomes more balanced and more welcoming to both sexes.

I hope.

12th February 2003, 12:45
From a marketing viewpoint, it would be an interesting study to see if either sex has a better attendance record than the other.

Andy Watson
12th February 2003, 12:59

Already done it mate. Here is the attendance profile for the calendar year 2002.

The names have been removed to protect the impotent but I have indicated if they are male or female:

10% Male
13% Female
19% Female
23% Male
31% Male
31% Male
33% Male
33% Male
38% Male
41% Female
42% Female
45% Male
46% Male
58% Female
60% Male
77% Male