Solo and Female Travellers
As a single traveller the disadvantage is that you have only one set of eyes and ears. When you're sitting in a bus station for 3 hours having a travel partner to watch your bags whilst you go to the bathroom or buy food is a luxury you don't have. You do need to be more vigilant of your surroundings when you are on your own. That said you can safely travel on your own through Brazil. Don't let people tell you otherwise. Incidentally if you're at a bus station for a few hours look around for the sign guarda volumes which is the luggage storage service.
At times everyone needs to ask others for directions or advice. Who can you trust? My personal approach was to always ask a middle aged women or a women with children. Women are much less likely to be eyeing you off as their next victim. Stereotypically women are nurturers and protectors. Most prisoners in gaol are men, not women. Most violent crime is committed by men, not women.
As a man I can't give first hand advice to single female travellers. I can only say that many women have travelled through Brazil before you so don't let fear hold you back. Women have sailed solo around the world and climbed Everest so you can probably travel safely through Brazil as a single female traveller. Just use your common sense and exercise good judgement.
Statistically most violence crime occurs to young males with the perpetrator and victim being known to each other. This is the complete opposite of a female travellers.
Yes, Brazilian men can be a little direct and a little quick off the mark for Western women. Should this stop you from travelling or going out and having a good time? Again many women have travelled through Brazil and few would say the little negatives outweigh the positive experiences.
*If any female travellers would like to add comments or improve on this section go right ahead. As a male I'm never going to be an expert in this area.