Daily commuting stressful for women: study

June 19th, 2008 - 4:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, June 19 (IANS) Men seem less stressed and more relaxed than women about transport options in urban settings, according to a new study. Men felt no anxiety about having an accident or the safety of others, and were undeterred even if they had been involved in a crash or injured before, said Sarah Hinde of Australian National University, who conducted the study.

Hinde used the study to examine male and female attitudes towards transport options like cars, buses, trains, trams, bicycles and walking, according to a university press release.

“Women… reported feeling anxious about their own and other people’s safety using all forms of transport, and many experience travel as a source of conflict, stress or danger.

“Although these women travel every day, many felt quite intimidated.”

Hinde said that current transport modes are creating clear gender inequalities, especially as policymakers tend to focus on the journey to work when planning urban transport.

She said women still perform the bulk of housework, which means they travel between many destinations throughout the day. Hinde argued that they are being overlooked when it comes to transport planning.

She conducted a series of interviews in two inner-Melbourne suburbs, one of which could be classified as more car reliant than the other due to high rates of car ownership and use.

In the less car-reliant suburb, up to two-thirds of people used active transport to get to work. In the more car-reliant suburb, which was more typical of urban Australia, four in every five commuters used a car to get to work.

“Policymakers need to be thinking about creating transport options that make all people in society feel safe and confident,” she said.

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