The gender-split in audio

Are there any theories as to why audio seems to be such a male interest? I KNOW that there are some female audiophiles out there (and, of course, that most men are not audiophiles), but there seems to be a very large imbalance within the audio world. I think audio should be important to any music-lover. There are lots of women for whom music is an important part of their life, so why the gender-split in audio? As I said, I am wondering about theories, not anecdotes. For example, maybe it's all about marketing, not the accurate reproduction of music per se. But I look at my gear and some ads in audio magazines and for the most part there doesn't seem to be anything intrinsically "male" about them or how they're pitched, and I doubt it would be sufficient to account for the apparent imbalance if there were. However, maybe I, as a male(!), underestimate these factors.
Hi Wellen; This morning, I asked my 29 year old daughter this very question. She is a music lover, but I am an audiophile (and music lover). I helped her put together a good sounding $5K system, but beyond that, she has absolutely no interest in obsessing about "the gear". She said that women are much more interested in "multi-tasking", and they don't have the time, interest, or money to constantly mess around with audio gear. OTOH, I admit to being somewhat of an "equipment junkie" and I'm willing to spend time seeking the ultimate stereo/music experience. But at the end of the day for me it's still about the music. That said, us guys seem to get hung up on "sound AND music", whereas women are only interested in the music. I expect my daughter will have her existing system for the next 20 years, and if there are any changes/upgrades it would have to do with format changes, eg DVD-A or maybe HT, rather than obsessions with sound. BTW, she, and her friends, are well paid professionals and could afford the "obsession" if they wanted. She made a convincing argument, IMHO. Cheers. Craig.
........I need to add that my daughter, who lives in a big city, attends many more live music events (including season opera tickets) than I do. Craig
Women hear better then men but the high end tweeter reproduction gets on their nerves. This is of course a subjective personal opinion but who can prove I'm wrong ? Another theory is that "the look" is at least as important to women as sound. Bottom line, they would rather have cute invisable sound then good sound. Speakers away from walls, ugly wires and exposed components aggravate them more then inferior sound. It's called priorities !
Hi, Wellen, I think Garfish's daughter has it right. Guys tend to be more single-minded about these things, and much more hung up on manipulating and trying to assert our mastery over our environment, whether it's hifi, cars, politics...
I think some of the women on this site have summed it up as a preference for music over gear. It seems that most audiophiles are into the engineering and sonic technicalities as much or more than the music itself. The details are very important to men...the technology, the appearance, the image, etc. Many women are just happy listening to the music. Why aren't there as many women car buffs as there are men? Same reasons.

Why did chicken cross the road? To get to the other side, right? Notice that there is never any mention of a rooster crossing the road. He was probably hit by a truck while he admired the asphalt work and the cool yellow stripe. :-)
Phild, to me at least its music over gear, for the man I share the music with its both. I am fascinated with what gear can or cannot do to music, but the emphasis remains on music. For me it does not have to be "perfect". I enjoy it as is, for him its rather something, which Detlof on another tread called a "quest".
I decided that I'm NOT an audiophile. I really like music and want to have a "good" sounding system.. and like to understand what is the basis for such, but I only occasionally (every 5 years or so) get into researching and buying bits of the stuff. It sems a criteria for "audiophillia" is the constant search/desire for new/best equipment, and the urge to try that better thing....
Other friends think of me as a stereo nut, but that's because I sort of know about the equipment. I like the area and the people, but I not an official member, I think.
I have been on this site for a few months and really that's because I have an hour to kill every morning before work...
Though I have goten some cables...and now a D/A converter.. and I want... Hmmm am I becoming an audiophile????
I think that you have people who like good sound, people who get a lot out of music, and people who are willing to go to great lengths (time and money) to achieve good sound, sometimes to enhance what they get out of music, sometimes seemingly just out of technical pursuit. Many people meet more than one of those classifications. Then, of course, you have people for whom they don't care about any of these.

My personal conclusion is that what is generally accepted as an "audiophile" includes the behavior of going to great time and expense to achieve good sound for whatever purpose, and I'm therefore not an audiophile either. Because I talk about music and equipment more than many of my friends, they readily identify me as an audiophile, but the truth is that I like listening to good music with a good system, I've invested a fair amount in a good system, I read the usual magazines regularly, but I'm only going to pursue upgrading if I'm convinced that it's going to be an eye-opening experience - I don't spend a lot of time tweaking or changing the system to experiment, etc.

So, my theory is that there aren't many females who are audiophiles, but there are plenty who love music and many of those that appreciate good sound. The visibility of the split is that, while they appreciate good sound, they don't choose to spend their time reading the magazines, discussing the pursuit of good sound with their friends or spending a lot of time on message boards such as this one. Males are more likely to do so in audio for the same reasons they're more likely to do so in sports or autos or other similar pursuits.

The part that never ceases to amaze me is how few people change their perspective when hearing a really decent system, male or female. Most hear the difference, but go right back to listening to a cheap boom box without minding a bit. I would think the exposure to something that much nicer with something as fundamental as music would change more people, at least to want something adequate.