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Why Aren't There Female Audiophiles?

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SimpleTheater

SimpleTheater

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I call these two pages of comments very ignorant. I would have thought that it would have been answered quite easily in the first page. Here it is. Women are not stupid enough to believe the unscientific garbage that audiophiles love. Men are just a lot dumber in this regard. If you think you are not that dumb, that proves that you are. There, Answered.
That's the EXACT opposite reason given in the video, post #1. Women are adverse to the violent, aggressive actions of people who do NOT believe in the scientific quality of cable differences.
 

seedragon

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I think there's a lot to be said about the fact that audiophilia is a sharply solo endeavor and that females tend to prefer activities that involve groups--particularly groups with other females--doing things together. As an example, my daughter likes sound quality and likes to listen critically with me, but she doesn't care to listen critically by herself.

So I put this question to my wife last night, and we both realized that a lot of females like to go to the spa or to read on the beach, which are largely solo activities. So being a solo hobby is not necessarily a good explanation.

She told me the reason she thinks most females are not audiophiles is that it's a hobby that is largely dominated by knowledge, discussion, and the experiencing of gear/equipment. She said that most females find gear and specs uninteresting.

This makes a lot of sense to me since a lot of the male-dominated hobbies (cars, computer building, shortwave radio, really electronics in general) tend to be gear-dominated hobbies. In audiophilia, the journey tends to start with a long period of learning about what the gear does (speakers, amps, pre-amps, DACs, formats, etc) and, only after a long period of that, do we move into discussions of psychoacoustics and room acoustics. But at the end, it's a hobby that is fundamentally rooted in gear, and females don't tend to care about gear, according to my wife.
 

voodooless

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I call these two pages of comments very ignorant. I would have thought that it would have been answered quite easily in the first page. Here it is. Women are not stupid enough to believe the unscientific garbage that audiophiles love. Men are just a lot dumber in this regard. If you think you are not that dumb, that proves that you are. There, Answered.

Really? How many women spends boatloads of money on beauty and skin care products? Most of which have little scientific basis, nor any probable effect? These are feel good products, just like lots of audiophile shit. I don’t think there is big difference there. Anti-vaxers: predominately women. Homeopathy users: same. These things are not rational choices in most cases. So don’t tell me women are not stupid enough. They stack up to men quite well in that department :facepalm:;)
 

ayane

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I'm thoroughly enjoying some of the responses on this thread, even though reading this thread is giving me a little bit of anxiety!

While I appreciate @ayane 's viewpoint and willingness to talk, I think it's sad that @ayane is being called upon to explore women at large just because she's the only one here.
Thanks for recognizing this. At the end of the day, I can only speak from my own perspective, and I'm no more qualified to make generalizations than anyone else. If anything, I'm pitching in because this kind of topic comes up often in sociology, which is an area I've studied.

I call these two pages of comments very ignorant. I would have thought that it would have been answered quite easily in the first page. Here it is. Women are not stupid enough to believe the unscientific garbage that audiophiles love. Men are just a lot dumber in this regard. If you think you are not that dumb, that proves that you are. There, Answered.
Respectfully, this misses the mark by quite a bit, although you do sound somewhat sarcastic. I don't believe women are socially conditioned to be more skeptical or rational than men are, and a good counterexample would be that women tend to be more likely victims of fraud, multi-level-marketing schemes, and are generally more susceptible to image-based marketing. People are not really wired to be rational thinkers regardless, but there exists a stronger social pressure on women to conform behaviorally than does on men. Status quo bias is a powerful force.

Taking a step back, I think it's unfair to generalize all audiophiles as followers of pseudoscience. Yes, the more science-driven/ "objectivist" audiophiles are over-represented on this forum, and we're probably in a minority in the hobby, but almost any hobby with a corresponding science will have a substantial number of people who dismiss the science in favor of aesthetics or even groupthink. It's the pitfall of being in the so-called "cognitive niche;" most of us use conclusions to justify reasons rather than vice versa.

The notion that any disparity of 'representation' in any field (e.g. audio) is an indication for discrimination is ideology - and a very fashionable one, at the moment. 'Reality' is typically multidimensional, thus, usually determined by a bundle of factors, not by a single one. Monocausal thinking is misleading and mostly wrong.
I agree that declaring the cause of such disparities to be discrimination amounts to hastily jumping to a conclusion, and I definitely agree that this is a symptom of a multifaceted issue. Still, this:
Couldn't it be that 'audiophilia', as heavily related to technical objects, is more attractive to males; couldn't it be that males - in general and in average - have a stronger affinity to dealing with 'objects', while females have a stronger affinity to dealing with 'persons'.
sounds like a leap of faith as well. I don't think there is enough - if any - compelling evidence to believe there is something essential about gender that can explain a disparity in having a hobby about sound.

The people I know who really enjoy audio typically have a love for music, technology or both. Musicians, electrical engineers and those with a elevated passion for music/sound tend to be good candidates for the hobby.
Bingo. There are lots of women audiophiles in the sphere of music and/or technology; but only a few hang out on forums due to various reasons.

I’m just hanging around, waiting for the Train wreck I expected to have happened already?
I think the kind of train wreck you're implying is probably less likely to happen here, but there are still plenty of responses here that already suggest slightly sexist ways of thinking, even if in jest.
 

AdamG247

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JMHO,

Being an Audiophile requires a pretty large investment of free time. Women just don’t have that luxury. They are too busy Working full time then coming home to make dinner, do the laundry, care for and feed the Children, monitor homework and clean the house.

On weekends when they do have some free time. They would much rather be out in nature walking, paddling, gardening or hanging out with GF’s and being Social or out with the Children creating memories and teaching them about the world.

Being an Audiophile for the most part is a very isolated and secluded activity. Women are far more Social in general than Men.
 

voodooless

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sounds like a leap of faith as well. I don't think there is enough - if any - compelling evidence to believe there is something essential about gender that can explain a disparity in having a hobby about sound.

Not so sure. Look at young kids: most boys play with stuff, while the girls prefer to play social games. Now the question is how much of this is biology, and how much is cultural? My almost 5 year old daughter has very little interest in Lego’s while it’s quite apparent that she shares my abstract way of thinking. She just expresses it in totally different ways, which is quite interesting in itself. Now this is obviously anecdotal, so no proof that sex or gender has anything to do with it. But I’m pretty sure there is some research out there covering this.
 

PierreV

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JMHO,

Being an Audiophile requires a pretty large investment of free time. Women just don’t have that luxury. They are too busy Working full time then coming home to make dinner, do the laundry, care for and feed the Children, monitor homework and clean the house.

Hey, I am a male audiophile and do all those things (OK, about house cleaning, I confess that I have 5 (edit: 6) robots to assist me and that I am not a great cook).

I would be truly ashamed to delegate those tasks while I "tweak the stereo".
 

MrPeabody

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Most men are naturally born tinkerers; most women are not.

In a nutshell, this is the true answer. You could ask the same question about cars or about other kinds of "gadgets". Our brains are different. This is a fact, and it isn't mainly about differences in upbringing and societal expectations and so on. Our brains are different. Men naturally tend to be gadget freaks of one sort or another. Women generally do not have that same natural predisposition. I'm only speaking the truth. Not that there aren't exceptions. Obviously the exceptions are numerous. On the whole, men are naturally born tinkerers and gadget freaks; on the whole women do not share this same predisposition. Also, for anyone who hasn't noticed this and who doubts that our brains are different, you may have noticed at some point that men do not generally have the same strong design to get pregnant a bunch of times and raise a bunch of children. If our brains were the same we'd be the same in this respect, but on the whole we are very different in this respect.
 

adc

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I'm going to come down on the side of "they're just more practical". My wife is not super-interested in the technical mumbo-jumbo, nor certainly in abstract marketing claims; however, after I bought a modest pair of Klipsch bookshelf speakers and a polite (as in, it's hidden in a corner, properly tuned, and doesn't call attention to itself) sub, she immediately loved and still appreciates that she can hear things she never heard before in her favorite music. I sometimes catch her stopped in her tracks in the middle of whatever she was doing, just to listen to a song as our collection plays on random.

And ain't that what it's supposed to be about?
 

rdenney

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JMHO,

Being an Audiophile requires a pretty large investment of free time. Women just don’t have that luxury. They are too busy Working full time then coming home to make dinner, do the laundry, care for and feed the Children, monitor homework and clean the house.

On weekends when they do have some free time. They would much rather be out in nature walking, paddling, gardening or hanging out with GF’s and being Social or out with the Children creating memories and teaching them about the world.

Being an Audiophile for the most part is a very isolated and secluded activity. Women are far more Social in general than Men.

Your first sentence might have been true at one time, but I don't think it really is any longer. Even at my age, the work I do around the house absolutely keeps pace with the work my wife does around the house, and that is true even before Covid when I was traveling every week. She expects me to keep things fixed, and she expects herself to keep things clean, though I have a responsibility not to make things dirty or messy on purpose just as she has a responsibility not to break things on purpose. We rent cooking from local establishments, by and large, and split evenly what we do at home. We share outdoor duties fairly equally, and we own enough land to require lots of such. We both pay bills and both keep our own finances. And I don't think we as a couple are much different than our friends our age (old enough that kids are long gone if there ever were any).

And younger friends of ours who have kids are dividing up kid duties and kid time far more equitably than what I see described on TV shows that seem to exist to complain about lazy men. Maybe I live in a bubble with my circle of acquaintances--it surely is a fairly narrow demographic slice--but that's the same slice about which the stereotypes in your first sentence seem to be generally applied.

My wife has as much time to waste on idle pursuits as I do, which is to say not that much, but we stay busy anyway. My pursuits are broadly more apparatus-driven, but I'm an engineer and she's not.

I see more men on all internet forums, not just audio forums, and not just apparatus-driven forums. I think it's because men gravitate to outward conversation with relative strangers more than do women, who spend more time with friends and family, and I'm quite sure that is a cultural construct, based on what I don't know. My wife is more extroverted than I am, though over the years that gap between us has nearly vanished in that dimension. Even so, I have a need and desire to communicate in written, supposedly complete sentences, and she favors conversation. Don't ask me why.

Rick "all models are false, even if some are useful" Denney
 
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While men and women are probably different on average, I think they are more alike than they are different on average.
There are some studies that find men having a tendecy to be more interested in things/objects while women have a tendency to be more interested in people and social interactions/dynamics. That difference is not huge on average.
If we assume a normal distribution for this trait and a requirement to be more on the extreme side of interest in things/objects however, the not so big difference on average turns out to be a much bigger difference in the extremes.

There are some studies on interests in men vs women with a notable one being "The gender equality paradox in STEM education" by Stoet and Geary. This paper describes an increasing difference in the interests of men and women with an increasing amount of freedom in their social context. A conjecture made from this is that men and women have biological differences which cause them to exhibit different interests, if they are given the freedom to choose.

While this seems plausible at first glance it is also quite possible that social dynamics and norms may play a bigger role in societies that offer this much freedom.

I'm not a social scientist though and my knowledge on this matter is limited to some weekend research I did purely out of interest. So take it with a grain of salt.
 
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