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Are women greener than men? A preference analysis of women and men from major German cities over sustainable urban mobility

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Travel patterns in daily life differ greatly between women and men, and differences in socialisation substantially impact travel mode choice. The literature has demonstrated a higher affinity towards local public transportation and sustainability for women. Men, by contrast, show a higher affinity towards cars, technology, and innovation. However, sex and gender factors have not been considered when examining innovative, sustainable urban mobility so far. A gender-sensitive perspective, therefore, is necessary to increase the possibility of using sustainable modes of transportation, including carsharing with battery-powered electric vehicles and, therefore, improve the quality of life in larger cities. This article closes this research gap with an analysis of a representative sample of 2400 respondents from four major cities in Germany based on Robin Law's theoretical framework of gendered daily mobility from 1999. In addition to socio-demographic, economic, and mobility-related factors, attitudes towards transport modes and the preferences for e-carsharing services are analysed to provide deeper insights into gender differences of urban dwellers. Grouped by age and gender, the presence of a child in the household is associated with different changes in preferences for specific modes of transport for women and men. Although the results indicate that urban women are more concerned about environmentally-friendly mobility in general and use cars less often than men, more women than men prefer going by car if there is a child under the age of 14 years in the household. There is unequal access to resources in mobility, which is in line with financial aspects being the main reason against car ownership for urban women. Parenthood has a positive effect on the acceptance of carsharing with battery-powered electric vehicles for women and men. In conclusion, gender differences result from different daily tasks, but there are also significant differences beyond this aspect that show a socially constructed gendered meaning of sustainable urban mobility. This research improves the understanding of sustainable urban mobility regarding gender differences, that is, the increase of car use of women with children, and the rejection of women of new mobility services. Only when gender differences are considered in planning processes, it will be possible to improve the quality of living in urban areas by reducing urban space scarcity, local and global emissions, and noise exposure.
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Are women greener than men? A preference analysis of women and men
from major German cities over sustainable urban mobility
Ines Kawgan-Kagan
Technische Universität Berlin, Straße des17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin, Germany
ABSTRACTARTICLE INFO
Article history:
Received 18 June 2020
Received in revised form 15 September 2020
Accepted 6 October 2020
Available online xxxx
Travel patterns in daily life differ greatly between women and men, and differences in socialisation substantially impact
travel mode choice. The literature has demonstrated a higher afnity towards local public transportation and sustainabil-
ity for women. Men, by contrast, show a higher afnity towards cars, technology, and innovation. However, sex and gen-
der factors have not been considered when examining innovative, sustainable urban mobility so far. A gender-sensitive
perspective, therefore, is necessary to increase the possibility of using sustainable modes of transportation, including
carsharing with battery-powered electric vehicles and, therefore, improve the quality of life in larger cities.
This article closes this research gap with an analysis of a representative sample of 2400 respondents from four major
cities in Germany based on Robin Law's theoretical framework of gendered daily mobility from 1999. In addition to
socio-demographic, economic, and mobility-related factors, attitudes towards transport modes and the preferences
for e-carsharing services are analysed to provide deeper insights into gender differences of urban dwellers.
Grouped by ageand gender, the presenceof a child in the household is associatedwith different changesin preferences
for specic modes of transport for women and men. Although the results indicate that urban women are more con-
cerned about environmentally-friendly mobility in general and use cars less often than men, more women than men
prefer going by car if there is a child under the age of 14 years in the household. There is unequal access to resources
in mobility, which is in line with nancial aspects being the main reason against car ownership for urban women. Par-
enthood has a positive effect on the acceptance of carsharing with battery-powered electric vehicles for women and
men. In conclusion, gender differences result from different daily tasks, but there are also signicant differences be-
yond this aspect that show a socially constructed gendered meaning of sustainable urban mobility.
This research improves the understanding of sustainable urban mobility regarding gender differences, that is, the in-
crease of car use of women with children, and the rejection of women of new mobility services. Only when gender dif-
ferences are considered in planning processes, it will be possible to improve the quality of living in urban areas by
reducing urban space scarcity, local and global emissions, and noise exposure.
Keywords:
Sustainable urban mobility
Gender differences
E-Carsharing
Attitudes
1. Introduction
Urban mobility is becoming increasingly more exible, including a
trend towards single-passenger transport. This development considers the
consistently small or even decreasing numbers of passengers per car
(infas, 2018;Truong et al., 2017). However, single-passenger transport cat-
egorically excludes individuals on the move together with others like chil-
dren and individuals unable to operate a vehicle, for instance, children,
elderly individuals, or individuals without a valid driving licence.
Women, even in urban areas, tend to be more often responsible for others
and have, accordingly, daily tasks especially because of additional house-
hold and child care tasks that lead to various requirements for transport
(Kawgan-Kagan and Popp, 2018;Nobis and Lenz, 2005). The uptake of
the mobility trends is more preferred by men than by women; in particular,
the use of BEVs in carsharing attracts male consumers (Kawgan-Kagan,
2015a). However, is the responsibility for children the key factor for this
phenomenon? To address the new developments on the mobility market,
this study investigated factors to eliminate them and prevent a gender mo-
bility gapin sustainable urban mobility at a point in time when services and
products can be shaped accordingly.
A gender mobility gap has been observed in transport research (Law,
1999;Rosenbloom, 2000). Nevertheless, this gap has been repeatedly
rediscovered in almost every quantitative analysis of mobility behaviour,
whereverit was included in the analysis, and often without further suitable
consideration. Different social roles manifest statistically in signicantly di-
vergent travel behaviour: On the one hand, differences in travel patterns
have long been known because of different daily tasks for women and
men especially when children live in the household (Best and Lanzendorf,
2005;Gordon et al., 1989;Nobis and Lenz, 2005); on the other hand, car
use and the use of public transport (PT) have been historically developing
in signicantly different ways (Konrad, 2016). Gender analyses of sustain-
able mobility have thus far focused on women using PT more often
Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives 8 (2020) 100236
E-mail address: ines.kawgan-kagan@tu-berlin.de..
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.trip.2020.100236
2590-1982/© 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Contents lists available at ScienceDirect
Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives
journal homepage: https://www.journals.elsevier.com/transportation-research-
interdisciplinary-perspectives
concluding hastily that women are more sustainable in transport without
knowing women's actual preferences (European Parliament, 2012).
The importance of general attitudes affecting an individual's intention
and has been elaborated by Ajzen (1991) to predict and explain behaviour.
Nevertheless, attitudes directly related to the eld of respective products or
services of specic target groups must be understood (Hinkeldein et al.,
2015). This work, therefore, is devoted to differences between women
and men with and without children to show the impact of gender in
terms of access to resources and to reveal the gendered meanings of mobil-
ity that reect distinct perceptions and attitudes. Preferences of urban
women and men with and without children regarding sustainable mobility
are explored. The following questions are raised: How is urban sustainable
mobility shaped by gender? How does the perception of sustainable mobil-
ity differ when children live in the household?
To answer these questions, the focus of this study is the attitudes to-
wards various aspects of electric mobility to reveal a gender-based meaning
of urban mobility. Besides, the emphasis is on sustainable mobility beyond
comparing PT to car use. To understand the differences between women
and men, the effect of gender on various aspects of shared electric mobility
is presented using profound correlation and signicance testing. Instead of
using genderas one of the variables, thisresearch uses it to show signicant
differences that have not been analysed before.
2. Gender and sustainable urban mobility state of the eld
This research is based on the framework of gendered daily mobility by
Robin Law (1999) combined with current mobility trends in urban areas.
In the following, the current state of research is presented to understand
the relation of gendered daily mobility and innovative sustainable mobility.
Law (1999) conceptualised a gender-aligned approach of gender and daily
mobility,completing the picture of how gender inuences these aspects:
Activity patterns in time and space;
Access to resources of time, money, skills, technology;
Experience of embodiment;
Meaning of mobility practices, settings, things (masculinity, femininity); and
Environment of land use, infrastructure, services, public space.
These aspects lead to gender differences in daily mobility, namely,
mode choice, travel behaviour, perception, and experiences of mobility
and can be found all over the world. Regarding gendered experiences of
embodiment and gendered environment of land use, services, and public
space, the research has mainly focused on health and safety topics. Later,
for instance, the research included female or pregnant crash test dummies
or psychological aspects of PT stations and vehicle design (Ellaway et al.,
2003;Hamilton and Jenkins, 2000;Rupp, 2001;Ulfarsson and
Mannering, 2004). The present study leaves out these two aspects (experi-
ence of embodiment and environment of land use, services, and public
space) and focusses on the inuence of gender on (i) access to resources,
(ii) activity patterns, and (iii) gendered meaning of mobility shaping daily
mobility, which is elaborated in detail in the next section.
2.1. Gendered urban mobility patterns
The differences between women and men in travel patterns have been
researched frequently, beginning with the question that whether gender
differences are observed in travel behaviour. Although gender roles have
emerged in terms of labour participation, women continue to be responsi-
ble for tasks resulting from household work and child care (Best and
Lanzendorf, 2005;European Parliament, 2012;Konrad, 2016). In less tradi-
tional urban areas, women without children work full-time as often as men
do; nevertheless, women tend to work part-time more often and are more
often responsible for the household as soon as they have a child (Berlin-
Brandenburg, 2017;Dribe and Stanfors, 2009;Nitsche and Grunow,
2016;Schneebaum and Mader, 2013). These (additional) tasks lead to sig-
nicantly different travel patterns of women and men: In contrast to men,
women show complex trip chains with shorter partial routes in a rather ra-
dial area closer to their residence (Bauhardt, 1999;Kawgan-Kagan, 2015a;
Knoll et al., 2009;Nobis and Lenz, 2005;Scheiner, 2016). In total, the trav-
elled distances are smaller despite the greater number of trips (Sovacool
et al., 2018). Household and childcare-related tasks are usually closer to
the residence than workplaces (Fan, 2017). Because of the longer distances
to work and because more men with children work full-time than childless
men, they cover longer distances on average (Crane, 2007;Kawgan-Kagan,
2015a). These differences are subject to different stages of life and, there-
fore, occur for individuals at an age when childbirth as a key event in life
is most likely (Lanzendorf, 2010;Scheiner, 2016;Scheiner and Holz-Rau,
2017;Stiewe and Krause, 2012). This gender mobility gap is visible wher-
ever gender differences were considered in the analysis and up to date,
no study anywhere has shown that there is no gender mobility gap.
2.2. Impact of gendered access to resources
A gender mobility gaphas been observed in every country that analysed
travel patterns. Especially in less developed countries it can be explained
with a gendered access to resources (Carruthers et al., 2005;Clarke,
2012): Both genders, women and men show higher rates of car use when
they work. Women tend to work less often, especially full-time, which
leads to a smaller income. Because of the higher nancial restriction,
women, therefore, have less access to paid mobility options: Women cannot
afford cars, bicycles, and public transport, especially in poorer countries,
compared with men. Even in urban areas in developed countries, women
earn less on average than men (Behr and Theune, 2018;Fortin et al.,
2017). Parenthood has a substantial impact on nancial resources in West-
ern societies: Women with a child but without a partner have the highest
risk of poverty (Damaske et al., 2017;Hübgen, 2018). Similarly, Best and
Lanzendorf (2005) showed that having children leads to less car use for
women but more car use for men; however, car use increased over the
past 30 years in Germany for women with children (Konrad, 2016). Nota-
bly, access to a car or holding a driving licence has been observed to be a
key factor of social inclusion and employment of women (Angell et al.,
2018;Dobbs, 2005). Ownership of driving licences, although its acquisition
is relatively expensive in Germany and, therefore, not uncorrelated to ac-
cess to nancial resources, grants access to carsharing schemes. In
Germany, the share of driving licences remains unequal for women and
men in general; nevertheless, the is expected to continue aligning because
of aligned acquisition rates for young women and men (Konrad, 2016), pre-
sumably indicating a closing gender mobility gap in Germany.
In addition to nancial restriction, Bauhardt (1999) argued that there is
a power gap within a household that leads to men being the person to use a
car; thus, women areforced to use other modes, mostly publictransport. At
rst glance,this thought seems harsh and old-fashioned; nevertheless, it has
historically evolved as has been described, for instance, by Fan (2017) or
Scharff (1992). Empirical data shows that in Berlin, women use public
transport more and cars less (Ahrens, 2014). A study from Cologne,
Germany, by Scheiner and Holz-Rau (2012) could not, however, nd evi-
dence for this power gap and restriction of access within a household due
to different nancial resources. They found no evidence for a gender-
affected connection between car use and participation in paid and unpaid
work, contradicting many studies asserting the existence of this gap
(Adeel et al., 2017;Liu et al., 2018). Although a study from Stockholm cov-
ering data from 1985 to 2015 showed that the gender gap in car use and bi-
cycling closed completelyin the inner city of Stockholm, this gap
continues to exist the outer areas (Bastian and Börjesson, 2018) and has
been evident in many other global studies (Abasahl et al., 2018;European
Parliament, 2012;Sovacool et al., 2018).
2.3. Gendered attitudes towards innovative, sustainable electric mobility
Gender differences resulting from gender-typical task divisions are not
the only determinants to explain the current differences in urban mobility,
especially in mode choice. Scheiner and Holz-Rau (2012) argued that there
I. Kawgan-Kagan Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives 8 (2020) 100236
2
must be more behind the different social roles affecting car use than
intrahousehold differences. Robin Law's framework includes the gendered
meaning of mobility practices, settings, and things (Law, 1999). Notably,
the gendered meaning of cars has been studied in science and technology
studies describing the ascription of masculinity to private car use and fem-
ininity to the use of public transport (Lee, 2017;Samuelsson, 2014). Histor-
ically, other ascriptions were evolving during the beginning of the
automobile era: Women were supposedly limited to the feminine private,
domestic sphere, whereas the public space was occupied by men (Ellaway
et al., 2003;Scharff, 1992), that is, men alone was supposed to be mobile.
This public masculinity was then supplemented with individual automo-
biles. If women needed to go somewhere, they were driven by their men
and also, the private femininity was broadened by the use of public trans-
port, and these origins continue to shape the attitudes towards and percep-
tion of mobility (Polk, 2009). The combination of publicly available and
privately used cars in carsharing, however, thwarts the assignment of fem-
inine public transport and masculine private car use. Due to the historical
ascription, most of the studies revealing gender differences in the percep-
tion, meaning of, and attitudes towards modes have focused on the use of
two opposites: cars and public transport.
Much research has been conducted on the adoption of electric vehicles
(EVs) and carsharing. It has revealed that environmental awareness, afn-
ity towards technology, and innovation as lifestyle are the main factors
inuencing the acceptance of new sustainable mobility including one-way
carsharing and e-mobility (Li et al., 2017;Rezvani et al., 2015;Shaheen
et al., 2015). Li et al. (2017) listed gender in their literature review of 40
studies as a socio-demographic factor inuencing the intention to adopt
an EV in addition to age and education, although without further consider-
ation. Rezvani et al. (2015) comprehensively reviewed up-to-date studies
about inuencing attitudes and factors and elucidated their effects on the
acceptance of plug-in EVs. Notably, wherever included in the analysis, gen-
der was observed to be a crucial factor.
Nevertheless, neither Rezvani et al. (2015) nor the authors of the origi-
nal studies conclude thata gender-based perspective is necessary to identify
obstacles and barriers against consumer adoption of plug-in EVs. Based on
numbers such as 95% being male users of BEVs in Sweden (Haustein and
Jensen, 2018) or 84% male users of carsharing in Berlin (Kawgan-Kagan,
2015a, 2015b), this is clearly an understatement of the importance of this
factor. Because of the more frequent use of PT, women are sometimes pre-
sumed to be more concerned about sustainable mobility than men. Other
studies have provided the respective evidence: Women are willing to pay
more for environmentally-friendly mobility and to change their travel be-
haviour (Matthies et al., 2002;Polk, 2009). Studies about acceptance of
technology have observed a much higher openness to innovation for
males than for females (Bain and Rice, 2006;Venkatesh et al., 2000).
A study from 2015 of early adopters of carsharing with and without
BEVs revealed that female users are signicantly more attracted to bicycle
use than male users. However, female users show a much lower afnity to-
wards technology and are less open to innovations (Kawgan-Kagan,
2015a). Also, the results show that male users are more interested in the ex-
citement of driving, and women use e-carsharing more pragmatically. A
complimenting study of urban women and their daily mobility preferences
from 2018 conrms these ndings and reveals active driving practice as an-
other principal factor for the adoption of carsharing services and rejection
of too many technical gimmicks, especially in EVs (Kawgan-Kagan and
Popp, 2018). The gender differences of parenthood on sustainable and elec-
tric mobility-related attitudes have yet to be researched.
2.4. A gender-based perspective on innovative and sustainable urban mobility is
necessary
Gender is evident in almost all studies about sustainable mobility as a
signicant variable and must be raisedabove the status of a control variable
because of its striking potential for differences in daily and electric mobil-
ity. Gender differences in daily mobility have been rediscovered without
the efforts of nding explanations beyond nancial and safety topics and
different daily tasks. New forms of sustainable mobility have not been
analysed regarding gender differences in attitudes that are identied to
be relevant for the uptake of such services. Thus far, literature has shown
that women are more concerned about the environment in general and
less interested in technology in general. More detailed, gender-specic dif-
ferences in attitudes towards sustainable urban mobility have received little
attention in the literature, although their importance has been proven for
the past decade. As Hinkeldein et al. (2015) pointed out that it is crucial
to not consider general attitudes but relate them to mobility and transport,
this work lls this gender gap in mobility research and feeds Law's frame-
work with evidence regarding sustainable urban daily mobility considering
new mobility services.
3. Research design
This section provides insights into the method used to understand
gendered urban, sustainable mobility.
3.1. Sample
The effects of differences in attitudesand mode choice according to gen-
der requires a quantitative approach with a representative sample for urban
areas. In this case, four major cities from Germany are included in a proba-
bility sample of 2400 respondents from the centres and the outer conurba-
tion areas of Berlin (n = 987), Hamburg (n = 548), Frankfurt (n = 450),
and Munich (n = 415) (Fig. 1). All these cities have satisfactory PT
coverage.
The survey was conducted in 2012, by Infas, a private and independent
social research institute that conducts research for companies, academia,
and politics through computer-aided telephone interviews (CATI). Data
from the ADM-Mastersample (Häder-Gabler-process) (Gabler and Häder,
Fig. 1. Sample distribution in Germany, n = 2400.
I. Kawgan-Kagan Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives 8 (2020) 100236
3
2002) for each region was weighted according to the proportion of the pop-
ulation of those regions. In total, a gross sample of 130,664 telephone num-
bers was randomly drawn according to the population distribution and
resulted in a nal sample of 2400 realised interviews as the person with
the last birthday (Last-Birthday-Approach) was interviewed. Finally, a sec-
ond and adjusted weighting compensated the distributions proportional to
the population aged 18 years and over in the selected regions. Table 1
shows the details of the respective subsamples and, as a reference, the aver-
age of Germany. Urban inhabitants have a degree from a university or a
technical college. More individuals from the subsamples work full-time
than the German average. The differences between the cities remain
small, except for the occupation status and a high discrepancy of almost
400 in the net equivalent household income. On average, the total sample
has a similar income to the German average.
3.2. Questionnaire
Socio-demographical, socio-economical questions, as well as questions
regarding travel behaviour, were included in the questionnaire. Another
set of questions focussed on availability of cars and bicycles within a house-
hold, with and without battery-electric drive. Also, different items were
asked regarding mode choicethe actually used modes and the preferred
modes of transport; the acceptance of electric mobility was covered as
well. Based on the extensive research about the impact of attitudes on mo-
bility by Hinkeldein et al. (2015), a battery of items with a 6-point Likert-
scale was included in the questionnaire to collect data about environmental
concerns and attitudes towards several aspects related to mobility. A factor
analysis reduced the dimensionality ofthe data presenting these statements
to nine mobility related attitudes including reliability testing. The
attitudinal indices were generated by computing the means of the variables
loading on therespective factor. The benet ofthese indices is their relation
to mobility, instead of covering a rather abstract variable, for instance, en-
vironmental awareness. Table 2 contains examples of the questions used to
generate the indices. For more details on the development of the indices
please see the publication by Hinkeldein et al. (2015).
3.3. Analysis
To give an answer to the research question elaborated in Section 1,the
literature review in Section 2 is combined with topics from Law's gendered
daily framework: access to resources, mode choice and mode preferences,
attitudes relevant to mobility including perception of cars and car owner-
ship, and acceptance of e-mobility. For each of these topics, various vari-
ables are analysed with inferential statistical tests to compare women and
men. In particular, the relation of the afnity towards cars and public trans-
port is of strong interest because strong differences have been observed in
the literature, as described in Section 2.3.
To generate resilient results, women and men are compared, and age
and the presence of children in the household must be considered as vari-
ables to distinct subsamples of women and men. Therefore, age categories
are generated in steps of 10 years beginning at 18 years, and a variable
was generated representing children below the age of 14 years living in
the household of the respondents. Indices were generated to obtain vari-
ables that represent specic attitudes. Differences are tested to be signi-
cant (Pearson-Chi
2
, binominal tests, t-tests according to respective
variable), and results are discussed in the context of gendered sustainable
mobility. Finally, conclusions are drawn from the results and provide in-
sights into gender differences regarding sustainable urban mobilities.
4. Results
This section provides the results of the analysis covering the topics of ac-
cess to mobility-related resources, differences in mode choice and mode
preferences, perception of car ownership and attitudes towards environ-
mental topics, and technology and innovation.
4.1. Access to resources
4.1.1. Descriptive overview
At rst, Table 3 provides detailed information about the respondents'
socio-demographics and othervariables that relateto access to resources re-
garding mobility. The employment status is correlated with income and in-
directly provides insights about the household division. Nearly 30% of the
women without a child work in full-time, and with 88%, the majority of
women with a child under age 14 years in the household work part-time.
For male respondents, more than three quarters have a child and work
full-time, and only a few respondents work part-time (3%). The net equiv-
alent household income of female respondents is smaller than that of
male respondents. Children in the household lead to a decreased household
net income equivalent for women and men. Parenthood increases the work-
related distances of trips only for men, which is in line with the literature
(Nobis and Lenz, 2005;Skora, 2018).
Table 1
Sample description (German major cities, n = 2400, subsamples and Germany).
Total, n = 2400 Berlin, n = 987 Hamburg, n = 548 Frankfurt, n = 450 Munich, n = 415 Average Germany, in 2012
a
Females 51.5% 51.5% 53.4% 50.8% 50.1% 51.0%
Average age in years 48.0 49.0 47.6 47.6 46.6 44.1
Child < 14 in household 23.9% 23,9% 19,9% 27,0% 25,2%
Graduated from university or technical college 35.4% 36.6% 30.2% 33,9% 32,5% 14.2%
Full-time occupation 39.3% 36.6% 36.2% 40.8% 47.0% 31.3%
Part-time occupation 12.3% 11.2% 13.2% 11.5% 14.4% 11.7%
Net equivalent household income per month in 1827 1667 1824 1932 2042 1835
a
(Statistisches-Bundesamt, 2018).
Table 2
Mobility-related attitudes, Indices generated by Hinkeldein et al. (2015).
Index Item example loading most highly on the index
Car afnity I nd driving an easy way to get around.
Bike afnity I nd cycling an easy way to get around.
PT afnity I reach my destination without stress when using public transport.
Long-distance train afnity I nd using the train an easy way to get around.
Mobility service afnity The use of mobility services allows me to reach all my important destinations.
Owning a car afnity I am dependent on my car in my daily life.
Mobility-related environment afnity Environmental protection is crucial for me in my choice of transport.
Technology afnity I am quickly able to gure out unknown electronic devices.
Innovator scale Other individuals often discover new travel ideas thanks to me.
I. Kawgan-Kagan Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives 8 (2020) 100236
4
4.1.2. Driving licences
Most of the individuals obtain their driving licences at an age when they
do not have children yet. Therefore, there is no difference for respondents
with and without children expected. Fig. 2 shows the share of driving li-
cences across age categories and differentiated according to gender. For
men, the share is lowest, with almost 77.9%, in the youngest category
and increases up to 94.4% for men aged between 58 and 67 years. The dis-
tribution of driving licences for female respondents also differs over age:Al-
though the distribution increases with the lowest share in the youngest
group, it is not as consistent as for men and decreases from the maximum
of 90.4% between 38 and 47 years to 73% for women older than
68 years. As data from the Federal Motor Transport Authority of Germany
show, young women and men started to align with the share of driving li-
cences, and the gap continues to increase with advancing age of the respon-
dents; this is because, in the past, fewer women obtained driving licences
(Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt, 2018). Our data contradicts the ndings for the
whole of Germany, where for individuals aged between 18 and 27 years,
similar numbers of men have a driving licence compared to women:
Young adults have the highest difference between women and men. For
the next age category (28 to 37), the difference has nearly vanished. For in-
dividuals aged older than 58 years, the gap increases again to almost the
same difference and increases again for respondents older 68 years. The
variation within the subsample of male respondents is approximately
16.4% points, and for women, the variation within the subsample is almost
twice as high with 30.2% points. The differences between women and men
are signicant (p< .001).
4.1.3. Car and bicycle availability
Another relevant variable representing access to resources is the avail-
ability of cars and bicycles within a household. As presented in Section 2,
traditionally, men have a higher availability of cars in the household than
women. Fig. 3 shows the number of cars and bicycles available in a house-
hold. Approximately half of the respondents have one car in the household,
and the values for women and men are similar, although more women have
no car in the household than men. A child in the household relates to in-
creased number of cars on the household. The share of individuals with
no car in the household is bigger with 27% for women with children com-
pared to 22% for womenwithout children. The share of individuals with no
car in the household for men differs from 21% with children to 8% without
children. Women with children more often have no car or two cars in the
household than men, and only a small share of men with a child have no
car. Studies showed that the rst car in the household is usually for the
male household member, and the second car is used by the female house-
hold member (Scheiner and Holz-Rau, 2012). This result is compatible
with the higher share of 12% of mothers living alone compared with the
2% of single fathers living with their child from the sample. Regarding bi-
cycles, the distribution is similar for women and men: Nearly half the re-
spondents have one bicycle in the household, and one-fth of the
respondents do not have a bicycle in the household. Respondents with a
child have one bike signicantly more often, with a plus of 10% points,
and accordingly, less often no bike in the household. This effect is stronger
for female respondents, indicating that women might use more bicycles
than men when they have children.
Table 3
Descriptive overview (socio-demographics, mobility-related items, German major cities, n = 2400).
Women Men Total
No child Child in HH Total No child Child in HH Total No child Child in HH Total
Age 52.4 37.0 48.7 49.8 38.8 47.8 51.1 37.9 48.0
Full-time 28.8 19.1 26.5 45.9 75.4 52.9 37.2 46.1 39.3
Part-time 14.3 38.1 20.1 3.4 6.5 4.1 9.0 23.0 12.3
University degree 31.0 27.7 30.2 37.7 37.4 37.6 34.3 32.3 33.8
HH net equivalent income 1745 1514 1690 2025 1745 1957 1888 1633 1827
Driving licence 78.5 80.9 79.0 88.5 88.0 88.0 83.4 84.3 83.6
Car HH 72.9 77.8 74.0 78.6 92.4 81.9 75.6 84.8 77.8
Car km/a 10,784 10,749 10,773 13,778 18,243 14,804 12,405 14,541 12,921
Work-home distance 16.0 13.3 15.2 20.1 19.1 19.8 18.2 16.6 17.7
% sample 39% 12% 52% 37% 11% 49% 76% 24% 100%
N 939 297 1236 889 275 1164 1822 572 2400
Fig. 2. Differences in distribution of driving licences of urban dwellers, n = 2400.
I. Kawgan-Kagan Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives 8 (2020) 100236
5
To understand these differences, the actual possibili ty of driving a car o r
bicycle must be analysed. Fig. 4 shows how often respondents holding a
driving licence have access to a car or bicycle as a driver or passenger.
There is no evidence for differences between women and men with or with-
out children in the availability of bicycles. Regarding cars, signicantly
fewer women responded that they (almost) always have access to them, es-
pecially when they have a child in the household (p< .001). Comparing
women and men, distribution of cars in the household and the availability
of cars are signicant with p< .001.
4.2. Perception of cars, of driving, and car ownership
The use of cars is less frequent in urban areas compared with Germany
in general, especially in rural areas (Herget, 2013). This result is related to
the satisfactory PT coverage, the affordability and efciency of the PT, and
that everyday destinations are much closer to one another in urban areas.
Nevertheless, cars continue to shape the cityscape, and many dwellers
have retained their private cars. This section covers what urban residents
think of cars and car ownership and how they perceive travelling by this
mode with respect to gender differences.
4.2.1. Meaning of cars for personal mobility and car ownership
Fig. 5 shows the agreement to several mobility-related statements com-
paring women and men with and without children. For each statement that
can be found on the right, there are four bars representing the subsamples
of the respondents, which give the share of the respective agreements to
these statements. Approximately half of the male and female respondents
stated that they could easily goto important destinationsby car, with a mar-
ginal difference of men agreeing more than women. There are no signi-
cant differences between women and men with a child below age
14 years in the household. Nevertheless, more women than men, especially
with a child, stated that they do not need a car to be exible. This result is
surprising, because children, especially, represent a factor that calls for the
need for a car for spontaneous events (Dowling, 2000;Schneider and
Hilgert, 2017). Agreements to the statement of only being able to manage
life with a car in the household differ for women and men with and without
children. More women with a child than without, but fewer men with a
child than without agreed to the necessity of a car for their daily mobility.
One-quarter of women said that it was true that they would not be able to
manage their daily life without a car, but more women without a child
disagreed with this statement.
Fig. 3. Distribution of cars and bicycles of urban dwellers, n = 2400.
Fig. 4. Availability of cars and bicycles as driver of urban dwellers, n = 2400.
I. Kawgan-Kagan Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives 8 (2020) 100236
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Fig. 5. Agreement to statements regarding cars, driving, and ownership, n = 2400.
I. Kawgan-Kagan Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives 8 (2020) 100236
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Regarding the perception of driving, more women compared with men
agreed that using a car is an uncomplicated manner of travelling. A young
child in the household has a positive impact on the evaluation of this
item. More women with a child stated that driving is more than fun than
childless women. Men show the opposite effect and perceived driving to
be less fun when the have a child in the household. Being asked about the
stress they experience while driving, women with and without a child
and men without a child answered nearly in a similar manner. Men with
a child consider driving to be signicantly more stressful. For more
women than men, it is important not to have to share their car with anyone.
For women with a child, the disagreement decreased by 4.4% points, and
for men with a child, the percentage increased from 31.0% to 39.5%.
4.2.2. Reach of destinations
To understand the perception of cars of urban dwellers, respondents were
asked how many of their daily trips can be covered only by car (Fig. 6). Ap-
proximately the same share of women andmenwithoutayoungchildstated
that almost all of their trips must be taken by car. 55.8% of the female respon-
dents without a child stated that they do not necessarily need a car or do not
have access to a car compared with 46.1% of the respective male group. The
strongest difference is observed for respondents with a child: None of the
male respondents stated that they never have access to a car, and 36.1% of
the male respondents said that they would not need a car. 7.5%, respectively,
44% of the women answered in this way. Correspondingly, signicantly
more men with a child compared with women with a child in the household
said that a car is needed for almost all their daily trips. Women with children
said that the car is not as needed, similar to what women without a child
stated.
4.2.3. Reasons for rejecting a private car
The ratio in this sample between women and men without their own car
is uneven: 24% for women to 17% for men (not includedin Fig. 7). The rea-
sons why an individual renounces a car can be manifold. The interviewees
were provided ve possible reasons and asked for their agreement regard-
ing each statement with the possibility of multiple answers. Fig. 7 shows
the total numbers of reasons to reject a private car. More than half of the
women without a car said that the high acquisition costs or maintenance
costs are a reason why they do not want their own car, and 100 of the
carless men named this reason. Unequal access to resources is one reason
why women have fewer cars than men (Section 2). This result is reected
in the nancial aspects being the main reason against car ownership for
urban women. For most men, however, a car is not necessary to be mobile,
although more women than men cited this reason (142 women cited this
reason). The discrepancy in terms of access to resources in the form of
costsisreected in these numbers: While in relation, the conscious
renunciation or the renunciation because of environmental awareness is
important for more men than women, more women than men renounce
their own vehicle for health reasons.
Fig. 6. Frequency of car use for daily trips, n = 2400.
Fig. 7. Reasons for car rejection of urban dwellers, n = 532.
I. Kawgan-Kagan Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives 8 (2020) 100236
8
4.3. Mode choice
The accessto different modes and the perception of cars provide indica-
tions about only the actual travel behaviour and use of specicmodes.
However, they provide the frame for daily mobility. To understand mode
choice regarding gender aspects, it is important to correlate the preferences
for a specic mode of respondents with and without a child, respectively,
across different age categories.
4.3.1. Primary mode
Respondents were asked about the mode they use the most for their
daily trips (Fig. 8). In general, most of the respondents stated that cars are
their mainmode of transport. Female respondents with a child in the house-
hold use cars signicantly more often in their daily lives and less public
transport than female respondents without a child (p< .001). For men,
in general, hardly any difference is observed in their primary mode choice
with or without a child, indicating that their mode choice is not affected by
this factor. For women, walking is more important in their daily mobility
when they have a child. Other modes do not show a crucial difference be-
tween all women and men.
Notably, these result changes when subgroups according to age catego-
ries are generated: For men between age 18 and 27 years, there is a crucial
difference for the use of cars and the use of public transport is half as high
for men without a young child in the household. Walking plays a bigger role
for men between age 18 and 27 and with a child years with 16%. For re-
spondents aged between 18 and 27 years, the relation to the child in the
household is not clear; therefore, a gender-typical caretaking division can-
not be assumed. Nonetheless, literature shows that girls more often take
care of their younger brothers and sisters than boys (Wikle et al., 2018).
For women between 18 and 27, the main mode of transport for most of
their daily trips is public transport, that is, greater than 50% no matter
whether there is a child in the household or not.
For men aged between 28 and 37 years, the same difference regarding
public transport and car use can be observed, although public transport is
less important than that for younger men. For 40% of the women with a
young child in the household, the car is the primary mode of transport.
The differences between women and men with and without children differs
signicantly (p< .001) mainly the use of cars and PT. Men with children
use a bicycle less often when they live with a child. Women with a child
walk signicantly more across all age categories (p< .001). For the next
two age categories of women and men, the share of respondents using
cars for most of their daily trips shows is lower when there is a child in
the household. This difference is balanced by more use of public transport
and bicycles. Women aged between 38 and 47 years with a young child
show an higher useof bicycles and walking and use fewer cars and less pub-
lic transport. Women with children across all age categories use public
transport approximately half as often as women without a child in the
household. In addition, thereis an opposite effecton the use of public trans-
port: Women with children walk more than women without children. For
the age categories 5867 years and older than 68 years, there is a balanced
ratio across the modes. Nevertheless, women older than 68 years use fewer
cars than men of the same age.
4.3.2. Preferred mode of transport
By contrast with the actual primary mode of transport, Fig. 9 pro-
vides the shares of the preferred mode of transport of women and men
with and without a young child in the household. Almost half of the
sample said the car and approximately 20% said the bicycle was their
favouritemodeoftransport.Thesevaluesaresimilarformenand
women; nevertheless, the differences are signicant (p< .001). The
main difference is within the acceptance of public transport, which is
generally higher for women. Divided into subsamples according to hav-
ing a child in the household, men show a signicantly higher preference
for bicycles with 31.0% and by contrast, a lower preference of cars. The
Fig. 8. Primary mode of daily trips of urban dwellers, n = 2400.
I. Kawgan-Kagan Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives 8 (2020) 100236
9
values of the shares remain closely equal. There is a shift in preferences
for men with children from motorised private transportation to greener
unmotorized private transportation, and slightly more women with a
child prefer a car than women without a child. Women also show a sig-
nicant shift towards bicycling when a child is in the household. Com-
pared to men, women's preference for local public transport is lower
when they have a child in the household and signicant when compared
to women without a child. The preferences between men and women
each differ signicantly between those with and without a child in the
household (p< .001).
4.3.3. Active car driving or being a passenger
Fig. 10 shows the frequency of car use as a driver or as a passenger for
women and men with and without a young child in the household. Car
use must be examined from drivers' and passengers' perspectives,
representing different opportunities for women and men in mode choice.
In line with the previous ndings in the literature and this study,
more men than women in total drive a car themselves (almost) every
day (not included in the Fig. 10). For women, there is a gap between
women with and without a child of 15.5%. Fewer respondents with a
child use a car actively (almost) never than respondents without a
child. Regarding car use as a passenger, the daily use is nearly aligned
for all groups, with values between 3.7% and 6.0%. The main differ-
ences are that approximately 40% of the male respondents (almost)
never drive a car as a passenger, and women with a child are passengers
less often compared to women without a car on average, accordingly to
the more frequent active use of cars. The values between men and
women differ signicantly (p< .001) as well as between those with
and without a child in the household for each subsample (p<.001).
4.4. Acceptance of sustainable and innovative mobility
Fig. 11 shows the deviation for specicsharesoftheoverallsampleof
total means of the z-standardized variables representing attitudes regarding
the mobility of the total sample.The attitudes are divided into three catego-
ries: attitudes towards modes, mobility-related aspects, and e-mobility.
Each of these indices is generated from various statements as presented in
Section 3.2.
Fig. 9. Preferred mode of transport of urban dweller, n = 2400.
Fig. 10. Active and passive car use of urban dwellers, n = 2400.
I. Kawgan-Kagan Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives 8 (2020) 100236
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The attitudes towards specic modes show that women and men differ
signicantly (p< .001). Regarding the afnity towards cars, men with and
without a child below age 14 years in the household show hardly any differ-
ences, with values between 0.11 and 0.12. By contrast, for women, there is
a gap of 0.15 between women without and women with a child. The value
of 0.07 of women with a child is similar to the values of men in general. For
PT, similar differences are observed. Men with and without a child do not
differ as much regarding their afnity for PT. For women, the difference
is much stronger with 0.21, compared to men with and without a child.
Women are with 0.03 slightly more PT-afne than men in general with
0.04; the main difference is in the factor of parenthood though. As also
evident in the stated use of bicycles, there is a higher afnity for bicycling
for women and men with children in contrast to without children.
The attitudes towards environmental protection, technologies and inno-
vations, mobility as a service, and privacy differ signicantly between
women and men (p< .001). These differences are even greater than
those regarding the attitudes towards specic modes of transport. When
asked about environmentally-friendly mobility, women with children are
Fig. 11. Deviation of z-standardized indeces regarding sustainable and innovaite mobility, n = 2400.
I. Kawgan-Kagan Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives 8 (2020) 100236
11
more concerned than the other subgroups. The difference between women
and men with a young child in the household is greater than that for male
and femalerespondents without a child. This result contradicts the changes
in women's attitudes towards cars and PT but is in line with their higher
preference and attitude for bicycling. The differences for male respondents
are small: 0.02. The greatest gender gap can be found by analysing the afn-
ity towards technology. In essence, 0.97 points is the greatest difference be-
tween women without a child and men with a child across all variables. For
women and men, a child in the household relates to a higher technology af-
nity. Thiseffect also occurs for the afnity towards innovations and mobil-
ity as a service, namely car rental, car and bicycle sharing, or online
ticketing. Notably, the attitude towards privacy does not differ for women
with or without a child, and women have a higher afnity compared with
men. This factor stands for the need to have sufcient space and comfort
surrounding a person while travelling. The expectation was that women
would have a higher preference for privacy with a child than without a
child due to security reasons; notably, this expectation cannot be con-
rmed. For men, an opposite effect is observed, with a minus of 0.13 for
men with a child, indicating fewer concerns about strangers while travel-
ling. The three aspects - environmental concern, afnity towards technol-
ogy, and innovation - are identied as crucial variables regarding the
acceptance of e-mobility, as presented in Section 2. Because these threevar-
iables differ signicantly for women and men, they are key factors for the
gendered acceptance of e-mobility result.
The perception of BEVs is nearly equal for men without a child and
women but is signicantly higher for men with a young child in the house-
hold. This difference is also reected in the intention of using BEVs in a
carsharing scheme and the desire to buy a BEV as soon as possible. Never-
theless, the willingness to spend more money on an electric engine for a
car is less for men with children. Wang et al. (2017) found that women
were more willing to pay a higher price for sustainable urban transport in
Beijing, China (e-carsharing in their case), than men. In this study,
women and men positively agreed equivalently. However, for women
with a child, there is a more positive evaluation than for women without
a child. For men with children in the household, there is a much more pos-
itive perception of e-mobility. By contrast, women with a child are willing
to pay more for an environmentally-friendly electric car if it offers the same
level of convenience as a car with an internal combustion engine.
5. Discussion and conclusion
Sustainable urban mobilityremains at the beginning to enter the market
and e-carsharing is mainly usedby males. This phenomenon forms the basis
of this investigation. Although urban women own fewer cars and use them
less often than men, there remains a substantial potential to shift their mo-
bility towards a sustainable e-carsharing.
In general, the results support that gender differences continue to exist,
even in urban areas with a less traditional understanding of gender-specic
roles. Across the three investigated dimensions of inequality (access to re-
sources, mode choice and gendered meaning of mobility), the following
gender differences can be observed.
First, urban women have less access to mobility-related resources in
urban areas than men. Gender differences are partially not very strong; nev-
ertheless, gender differences are signicant, except for bicycle availability.
The low shares and the high difference for young adults in driving licences
might be a particularity of urban individuals: In larger German cities, the
cheap provision of public transport is much better than in rural areas.
This situation benets an urban mobility without the necessity to drive a
car, which could be even more suitable for urban women than men.
Second, the perception of cars differs signicantly according to gender
and parenthood: Although most of the male respondents work full-time
and their mobility does not change as much as it does for women taking
care of and accompanying children possibly in addition to working part-
time, a young child changes how men consider the necessity of a car. This
result implies a crucial difference in perception of the possibilities without
a car for men with a child, despite men with a child in the household do not
tend to perform most of the care work during the day. The preference of
modes is different for urban women and men even more when additional
tasks occur because of a child in the household. In such cases, bicycling is
more important for men, and women prefer using cars. Shorter distances re-
lated to child care such as trips to day-care or school are more suitable for
bicycle use than longer trips such as work-related trips. Another reason
could be that individuals with responsibility for a child show a higher
awareness of environmental concerns and, therefore, prefer cycling over
using a car.
The third dimension represents the importance of gendered meanings
of sustainable mobility beyond the access to resources and differences in
daily tasks: The attitudes towards environmental protection, technologies
and innovations, mobility as a service, and privacy differ signicantly be-
tween women and men. These differences are even greater than the differ-
ences regarding the attitudestowards specic modes of transport. Although
women with a child have a lower income (Section 3), they are willing to
spend more money than men for sustainable BEVs. Nevertheless, BEVs
are not observed to present an attractive solution for most of the women.
A reason could be their strong rejection of innovative technology. This re-
sult proves the importance of these factors (environment, technology, inno-
vation) for the adoption of sustainable urban mobility and shows that a key
problem is within the gendered meaning of mobility. Policy measures,
therefore, must focus on attitudinal gender differences in mobility to sup-
port sustainability in urban transport and not focus only on topics resulting
from family responsibilities. Child seats in every carsharing vehicle cannot
be the only solution to this problem.
Although the results demonstrate that urban women are more con-
cerned about environmentally-friendly mobility and use fewer cars than
men, women witha child prefer transport by car. For men, there is an oppo-
site effect regarding sustainable mobility. Parenthood brings different con-
straints for women than for men that must be considered when supporting
sustainable urban mobility. Nevertheless, there is the additional gendered
meaning of mobility in urban areas, which especially manifests in the at-
tractionof carsharing withBEVs for males. Further research can provide ad-
ditional details on this difference, and qualitative interviews would
facilitate the achievement of that goal.
The phenomenon of male early adopters of e-carsharing is similar to the
extent found in the international context and shows signicant differences
between women and men regarding factors that Law (1999) highlighted in
the gendered daily mobility framework. Because of the representativeness
of the sample for German cities, the results can be applied to other urban
areas, especially within Europe. The limitation of this research is the still
early state of adoption of new mobility services when the data was col-
lected. Also, future research on gendered sustainable urban mobility must
identify possible cohort effects or a change in attitudes over time. Another
limitation is that the data set does not provide insights into who in the
household takes care of the child. Especially for young respondents, the re-
lation to the child in the household is not clear; therefore, a gender-typical
caretaking division cannot be assumed. Nevertheless, girls more often take
care of their younger brothers and sisters than boys (Wikle et al., 2018).
Women as an immense potential user group are excluded if only the need
of single users is addressed with e-carsharing services and innovative tech-
nological afne individuals. Women are willing to use sustainable modes
but are not actually using sustainable modes due to child care related to
daily tasks, the rejection of innovative technology of BEVs and the issue
of active driving when using carsharing. These ndings call for further in-
vestigation on how the attitudes towards aspects of e-carsharing services
such as environmental awareness or innovative technology might be
changed and how respective measures inuence sustainable women's travel
behaviour.
In conclusion, the potential for sustainable mobility in urban areas
needs to be discussed in a gender-equitable manner. The perception of
(electric) mobility and individual's behaviour must be understood including
their underlying psychological processes (Schlag and Schade, 2007). In the
current state of the introduction of new mobility forms, it is important to
understand (potential) users from the start of the market entry to avoid
I. Kawgan-Kagan Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives 8 (2020) 100236
12
established obstacles and barriers that might result from gender differences
in attitudes towards mobility.
CRediT authorship contribution statement
Ines Kawgan-Kagan: Conceptualization, Methodology, Software, Vali-
dation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Resources, Writing - original draft,
Visualization, Project administration.
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