Gender Divide in the Use of Internet Applications

Gender Divide in the Use of Internet Applications

S. Banerjee, H. Kang, S. Bagchi-Sen, H.R. Rao
Copyright: © 2005 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/jebr.2005040102
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There is mounting evidence of an increasing gender gap in computer education, which translates into a similar gap in the information technology workforce in the United States. This study investigates whether gender difference in computer usage is carried over to Internet usage. This paper focuses on exploring gender differences in the use of the Internet and the types of application people pursue online. The study will examine if there are fewer females using the Internet than males and will explore how gender difference plays a role in using the Internet for information search, interpersonal communication, entertainment, education, shopping, and personal finance. In addition, we investigate the male-female difference in Internet use by race, age, and educational level. Data used in this study are based on the September 2001 U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, a survey of approximately 50,000 households and more than 157,000 individuals across the United States. The analysis of data shows reverse trends regarding gender in the use of the Internet; furthermore, more females show Internet usage than males for e-mail or instant messaging, for taking an online course, for searching information about products and services, for purchasing products or services, for searching for health services or practices, for getting information about government, and for searching for jobs. However, more males use the Internet than females to play games; for chat rooms or listserv; to get news, weather, or sports; for viewing television, movies, or radio; for telephone calls; to trade stocks, bonds, and mutual funds; and for online banking. The implications of these results are also discussed.

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