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Old June 30, 2012, 01:27 PM   #1
Join Date: May 16, 2000
Location: Washington state
Posts: 7,438
Why teach women-only classes?

Please forgive the shameless bit of self promotion here, but I've just published an article that I'd really like to hear your feedback on. It's titled, "Why Women's Classes?" and you can find it at

It used to be that everyone you met at the range, in the gun stores, or on gun boards like this one all fit a certain demographic. You know: middle-aged and older rural white guys, most of whom lived in the southern or western states.

That's no longer the case. Women are buying guns in record numbers, and most of those purchases are driven by a desire to learn more about self defense. (See, for example, the Gallup poll results here:

That's great for the training industry, or should be. But getting women, even eager new gun owners interested in self defense, into classes seems to be the sticking point. For example, one prominent trainer tells me that women make up less than 3% of his classes. That's at one extreme. Another prominent trainer tells me that women make up more than half of his classes these days, and that the number is still on the rise. That's the other extreme. Casual conversations with various trainers I know seem to yield female student percentages around 15 to 20% -- up dramatically from 10 years ago, but still lower than the number of women buying guns for self defense would suggest ought to be the case.

Meanwhile, every conversation I've heard among trainers about this subject seems to center on talk about marketing issues and how to sell classes to women and how to convince women to come to class and ...

But what they aren't talking about is, what do we teach women once they're there? That is the missing discussion point, I think. And that's what I'd like to get your feedback about. In what ways should training intended for women differ from training intended for the general public? Or should it?

Kathy Jackson
My personal website: Cornered Cat
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