A study of 2,417 regular cyclists in six European countries found cycle use can influence gender differences in perceptions and attitudes towards cycling. It highlights the need to promote cycling behaviours and for the specific needs of women to be included in the design of cycling infrastructure.

Research has shown that women cycle less compared with men and have unfavourable attitudes towards cycling. The gap between female and male bicycle use is because of several factors. For example, men report fewer barriers or constraints to cycling and have more positive attitudes to cycling compared to that of women. Women have different attitudes towards cycling infrastructure and environment (e.g. preference for streets with slower traffic speed and segregation from motor traffic) and report a high-risk perception of cycling. There are specific factors such as cycling culture and gender inequality that contribute to these gender differences. According to self-perception theory, cycling behaviour may influence attitudes to cycling as people develop attitudes from observations and own behaviour. For example, men may be less likely to report negative attitudes towards cycling because they cycle more frequently than women. A study examined gender differences in positive attitudes towards cycling in a population of 2,417 regular cyclists (i.e. cyclists who cycle at least once a month) irrespective of their membership of a community organisation. It investigated gender differences in bicycle use and cycling injuries.

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Source: European Commission, TRIMS