Gender Rolls of Cities

Today while taking silly internet quizzes about which Classic Leading Man and Classic Dame most matched my personality (don't judge), I noticed something interesting and, perhaps, subliminal. In the Leading Man quiz, choices for what kind of town to live in and what kind of dwelling were generally urban. The Classic Dame's choices for where to live, however, were exclusively suburban and/or rural.

This reminded me of an interesting contrasting example of urban gender associations. A map created for Richard Florida's new book, Who's Your City, shows the gender imbalances in cities across the United States. In contrast to the urban/rural perceptions associated with classic movie stars, older, grittier, more densely populated cities (aka more urban places) typically have much larger concentrations of women as compared to men. While San Francisco, Charlotte, and perhaps Minneapolis provide notable exceptions, women seem more likely to live in places like New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and DC, while men dominate the populations of more auto-dependent places, like LA, Dallas, Las Vegas, and Phoenix.

I wonder where that discrepancy might come from.

The Classic Leading Man Test

The Classic Dames Test

The Singles Map (Richard Florida)


Anonymous said...

...that's really interesting, about the men gravitating towards the more auto-dependent locations.

I bet you could find a good correlation between these places you listed, and male vs. female 'dream jobs'. Business vs. the Arts, or Entertainment vs. Tech.

I say that mainly because my first thought was NY, and young women who move there to take up the arts, wear sunglasses and dresses, and walk around. Way to stereotype, eh?

Anonymous said...

There was a blogosphere dialog related to the issue of women and cities a while back.

One fact I uncovered was that in major US metro areas (what I called "hub cities") young women out-earn young men. This would certainly help explain the appeal of metros to women.

My post on this is here: