Is Safety perceived differently by men and women?

Tue, 16 Sep, 2014
By Ashish Basu

Yes is the answer.  Women and men do perceive safety differently.  Based on over 1500 audits conducted by 120 people, we can conclude that women do perceive spaces differently.  This probably comes as no surprise to anyone.

What is surprising however, is that the difference while significant is consistent across all factors, well all factors but one, but more on that later.

This provides evidence of what women's safety experts have been saying all the time –that if a city (or space) is safe for women, it is safe for men too.  Women as well as men feel less safe on a dark road, women would feel more unsafe Similarly a closed space feels unsafe to women and to men alike.

There is one exception however.  And that exception is Crowd.  Our data analysis showed that men and women experience different  feeling of safety in the presence of others.  This was initially surprising, till further analysis showed an interesting twist.  If we excluded highly crowded spaces from consideration, men and women felt the same way.  But in a highly crowded space, for example a crowded bus or a crowded shopping mall, women feel unsafe while men do not. .

And again, this is logical.  A crowded space allows for more harassment, with less opportunity to get away or even catch the culprit.  A busy (but not crowded) space feels safe  for women.

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