The blogging gender gap?

A post this week by Elaine Westwick’s blog The Stuff of Life on the gender gap in blogging, especially science blogging, got me thinking about the blogs in my reader and therefore in my weekly round-ups. The gender gap has been supported by some significant surveys of major blogging networks, outlined in Dave Munger’s article Blogging out of balance last fall. I don’t really doubt that its real especially if you are counting inactive blogs and the gap may be greater in non-life sciences.

So today I went through my blog reader listing all of the blogs by gender. I omitted group blogs (3 or more authors), church-related blogs, magazines-like blogs and others that essentially have a corporate author. Basically I omitted group blogs and anything that I wouldn’t put in a weekly round-up here at Contagions. This still leaves 54 bloggers. 🙂 Lest you think that this is too many keep in mind that probably two-thirds don’t publish every week. In fact I think it’s getting about time to thin some out for inactivity. Quite a few are also new to my reader so who knows how long they will stay. As you know by now if you’ve read the round-ups that my reader covers a variety of topics.

I know you are thinking, get to the results! Out of 54 bloggers, 27 men and 27 women. I really did expect to see a gender gap and I was amazed as the two columns in my list kept keeping pace with each other. I assure you it was completely unintentional that they are currently even. I’m sure it won’t last long as I thin out inactive blogs and add new ones.  So you are thinking, what about science bloggers? Keeping science and history of science together, there are 12 men and 16 women. I’m sure I have my biases, it is my reader after all but there are lots of good blogs out there by women.

Here are some of my favorite blogs by women in my reader:

Aetiology by epidemiologist Tara Smith who writes for science blogs. She writes about  human pathogens and public health. Aetiology was one of the blogs that inspired me to start Contagions.

Anthropology in Practice by Krystal D’Costa is the best anthropology blog I have found bar none. She is also the social science editor for

The Artful Amoeba by science writer Jennifer Frazer who likes to do good old-fashioned natural history. She can make fungus fun and interesting. The Artful Amoeba is one of my favorite science blogs.

The Dragonfly Woman by Christine Goforth is about all kinds of bugs. Honestly I do find dragonflies and damselflies fascinating, though I don’t know much about them. Hopefully Christine can teach me something about them.

A Schooner of Science by Captain Skellett, an Australian lady pirate who makes science fun for readers of all ages (teens and up). Don’t think this blog is aimed at kids by its super fancy template (I’m quite jealous over the template!) because the science is good stuff.

Paternosters by Chris Laning is about research on medieval prayer beads and early rosaries. Its amazing what you can learn about the Middle Ages by studying the materials and evolution of an object like prayer beads / rosaries.

Quite a few of the newest blogs in my reader are by women. They look promising but it’s too soon to call them a favorite. I’m sure you’ll find them in the weekly round-ups to come so stay tuned.


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