Are men more likely to use tech gizmos than women?
The computer has become a tool of importance in the home, classroom, and workplace. If females are less comfortable with using the computer or have less access to a computer at home or at school, they could be at a disadvantage later. However, based on available data, males and females have equal access to computers and use the computer similarly for clerical work.
Also, despite equality in general access to computers in schools it is evident that males generally leave high school with greater interest in and possessing specialized knowledge of computers.
So, is the computer still a techie alien for millions of housewives across the world? Are boys more comfortable using Excel and PowerPoint for their schoolwork? We found that the situation regarding the use of computers by women is improving for the better. Although men in general are more likely than women to be tech-savvy, we also found that girls aged 5-17 are more likely to use computers to do their homework than boys in the same age group.
How much do women use the computer at home?
Percentage using a computer in the last 12 months, 2000
65 and over
Reflecting the rapid spread of technology throughout society, the percentage of girls and boys who used the computer in school was very similar (around 84% of all students). Similarly, the percentage of students who used the computer at home was around 66%, irrespective of their gender. However, when looking at the students between the ages 5 to 19, girls are more likely than boys to use home computers for e-mail, word processing, social networking and completing school assignments.
According to US Government data, in 2000, 70% of women with access to a computer at home used it; the rate for men was 72 %. The home computer-use "gender gap" between men and women has shrunk considerably since 1984, when men's home computer use was 20 percentage points higher than that of women.
Also, the percentage of women who used a computer at work for clerical and administrative work was 57% in 2000, nearly 13 percentage points higher than the percentage of men who did so.
According to statistics for Canadian citizens, the use of computers by women paralleled the use of computers by men, for almost all age groups. In fact, for certain groups, women used computers more in their daily routine than men.
Also, Oxygen's newly released study, 'Women's Watch: Girls Gone Wired', a comprehensive examination of women and technology shows that the technology gender gap has virtually closed and that the majority of women are well-versed with technology, particularly the use of computers.
Interesting results from the study:
People who use their computers atleast once per week: women (73%) and men (71%).
79% of women feel comfortable using technology (only 21% of women wish they felt more comfortable using technology versus 20% of men wish they felt more comfortable using technology)
46% of women do their own computer troubleshooting.
Most women see technology and computers as a means to an end. If it makes a woman’s life easier, she wants it.
90% prefer a media center PC vs. designer shoes!
However, several other surveys about use of the computer and internet among men and women show that though women are much more tech-savvy than earlier, the men are still more adept and comfortable with technology and computers than the women.
Some more general findings from other studies:
Men are more likely to be familiar with technological and computer-related terms like ‘RSS feed’ and ‘phishing’ than women.
Many more men are capable of fixing and trouble-shooting any computer-related problems.
Men are also more confident about using and trying new gadgets, applications and software.
Men are also more confident of themselves as information searchers.
Women are more concerned about the criminal use of the internet, such as use for pornography and terrorism.
How much do women and men use the internet?
Women are neck-to-neck with the men in almost all aspects of internet use. Men like the internet for the advantages and facilities it offers and women like the internet to stay in touch and maintain connections.
The Pew Internet Project surveys conducted between the months of January and June in 2005 show that 67% of the adult American population goes online. Among the men 68% go online, while among the women, 66% go online.
Younger women are more likely than younger men to be online; older men are more likely than older women to be online: 86% of women between the age of 18 and 29 go online, while only 80% of the men in that age group go online. In contrast, 34% of men who are 65 years of age and older use the internet, compared to only 21% of all women in that age group.
Though women tend to use the computer more than men, various surveys show that men spend more time on the internet than women.
In a single day, more men with internet access go online than women: 61% of the men compared to 57% of women go online in a single day.
Men use the internet more often than women: 44% of men go online many times a day, compared 39% of women who access the internet more than once a day.
More men have high-speed connections at home than women. 52% of men and 48% of women have high-speed internet connections at home.
Men and women are both just as likely to access the internet from their homes. 87% of the women and 85% of them men use the internet at home.
Similarly, men and women are both just as likely to access the internet from their workplaces. 66% of the men and 65% of the women access the internet while working.
Men, women and the internet:
The different reasons for use
Men would usually use the internet to do an array of activities such as get general, sports financial and political news, get information, job-related research, download software and music, listen to music, rate a product or service, use a webcam etc. Basically, men use the internet for all kinds of different activities.
Women usually use the internet to send and receive email, access map, search medical information, use the internet for support to personal problems and get religious information. Women hence use the internet more than men for these few activities.
Use of the internet to communicate:
More than men, women are enthusiastic online communicators and they use email in a more robust way. Women send and receive email more than men. Some 94% of online women and 88% of online men use email. Women do more in personal emails with friends and family. More women than men write emails about news, worries, advice and planning.
Use of the internet for transactions:
Men and women use the internet both use the internet nearly equally for standard types of transactions like purchasing goods, online banking, travel arrangements. But, more men use the internet for riskier types of transactions, like participating in auctions or buying and selling stocks and shares.
Use of the internet to get information:
Men look for information on many more varied topics than women. Also, most men and women use search engines extensively. 90% of online men and 91% of online women use search engines.
Use of the internet for entertainment:
Men use the internet for entertainment much more than women. However, women also play games as much as men. They listen to audio clips and music, watch videos, share files. Men use the internet for more activities with greater fervor.