A new report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project challenges some of the conventional wisdom regarding gender roles and technology.
For the first time, the report finds that young women use the Internet more than young men. In the 18-29 year old age group, 86% of women are Internet users, compared to just 80% of men the same age. This is the only age group for which women outpace men in Internet use. Men typically use the Internet as an information resource, checking weather, sports scores, news, and looking for information. Women tend to use the Internet for more communication-oriented activities, including email and support for health and personal problems.
“If there is an overall pattern of differences here, it is that men value the internet for the breadth of experiences it offers, and women value it for the human connections,” said Deborah Fallows, Senior Research Fellow at the Pew Internet Project.
Though the study did not specifically look at gender differences in Internet use among school-age students, the news is encouraging. The gender gap that has traditionally been seen appears to be closing.