Becoming an Outdoors Woman: Effect on Activities and Attitudes
Lueck, Diane Humphrey
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Natural Resources
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Women have typically been under-represented in the numbers of hunters and anglers. A 1990 workshop called "Breaking Down the Barriers to Participation of Women in Angling and Hunting" identified 21 reasons for their low participation in these activities. Barriers related to lack of information led to the development of the "Becoming an Outdoors-Woman" program--workshops teaching outdoor skills to adult women. Since the first clinic in Wisconsin in 1991, thousands of women have been reached across the United States and Canada. This research project surveyed the 800 participants from the first three years, investigating changes in level of outdoor activities and changes in attitude toward those activities. A control group was also surveyed for comparison of changes over the same period. Fifty-nine percent of the participants sent surveys responded, and 53 percent of the control population responded. Participants did show an increase in activities taught at the workshops, and also showed less decrease than the control group. The participants' attitudes toward hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities were also more positive following the workshop than were attitudes of the control group over the past year. There was no significant difference in equipment and clothing purchases between the two groups. The positive implications of this study have been widely recognized, resulting in national sponsorship and national implementation of the "Becoming an Outdoors-Woman" program.