I've felt the same way for the reason we don't see as many women as men walking into a dojo as it's more related to social/ cultural reasons. Once we step in the dojo, my impression from this thread is that they (we) are treated in an equitable manner -- for the most part. What I have begun to notice is that, at least where I train, of the number of women who are registered in the dojo a larger percentage of them practice more regularly. For example, my dojo is about 18% female but we often make up 25-33% of the people on the mat on most nights. And some nights we can make up close to 40% on the mat. But there are days when I'm the only woman on the mat. I don't despair that though as I, at times, like being the only woman on the mat.
In regards to the theory on learning patterns. I'm quite the visual and kinesthetic learner. I need to see something down and feel it done before I really get it. Although it helps that I have verbal instruction when confused but in the end I don't really learn it until I see what I'm doing wrong and then do the right thing.
Just a note: Molly Hale is teaching at the AikiExpo: http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=613