Thursday, January 19, 2006

How Women and Men Use the Internet

We've discussed, ad nauseum, possible reasons for the low involvement of women in biblioblogging. (My theory involves types of blogs which serve as a form of self-aggrandizement feeding the male ego.) The following report by Pew Internet and American Life Project, How Women and Men Use the Internet, offers an answer in a single sentence: "Men like the internet for the experiences it offers, while women like it for the human connections it promotes." It's fair to say that biblioblogging, or indeed a lot of academic blogging, isn't exactly driven by the need to connect with as many people as possible.

Here's part of the summary of the report's findings. (View the full pdf here.)

• The percentage of women using the internet still lags slightly behind the percentage of men. Women under 30 and black women outpace their male peers. However, older women trail dramatically behind older men.

• Men are slightly more intense internet users than women. Men log on more often, spend more time online, and are more likely to be broadband users.

• In most categories of internet activity, more men than women are participants, but women are catching up.

• More than men, women are enthusiastic online communicators, and they use email in a more robust way. Women are more likely than men to use email to write to friends and family about a variety of topics: sharing news and worries, planning events, forwarding jokes and funny stories. Women are more likely to feel satisfied with the role email plays in their lives, especially when it comes to nurturing their relationships. And women include a wider range of topics and activities in their personal emails. Men use email more than women to communicate with various kinds of organizations.

• More online men than women perform online transactions. Men and women are equally likely to use the internet to buy products and take part in online banking, but men are more likely to use the internet to pay bills, participate in auctions, trade stocks and bonds, and pay for digital content.

• Men are more avid consumers than women of online information. Men look for information on a wider variety of topics and issues than women do.

• Men are more likely than women to use the internet as a destination for recreation. Men are more likely to: gather material for their hobbies, read online for pleasure, take informal classes, participate in sports fantasy leagues, download music and videos, remix files, and listen to radio.

• Men are more interested than women in technology, and they are also more tech savvy.


Blogger DareDevil said...

Interesting post :)


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