How Women and Men Use the Internet: (Pew Internet Life)

Women are catching up to men in most measures of online life. Men like the internet for the experiences it offers, while women like it for the human connections it promotes. A wide-ranging look at the way American women and men use the internet shows that men continue to pursue many internet activities more intensively than women, and that men are still first out of the blocks in trying the latest technologies.

At the same time, there are trends showing that women are catching up in overall use and are framing their online experience with a greater emphasis on deepening connections with people.

Some highlights from a new report show how men’s and women’s use of the internet has changed over time.

  • 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.
  • (more…)

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