Web-browsing habits enforce gender stereotypes

Survey finds that while women have been catching up with men in their Internet use, the activities they partake in vary widely from those of their male counterparts

When it comes to Internet use, men tend to devote more time each week to playing games and researching techie gadgets, while women log on to chat with friends, shop and plan vacations.

Released this week, Forrester Research's most recent study of how Europeans use technology surveyed 22,662 consumers in the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden to learn more about what drives men and women to the Internet. The survey found that while women have been catching up with men in their Internet use -- 54 percent of European women use the Internet compared with 62 percent of men -- the activities they partake in vary widely from those of their male counterparts.

"The Internet is just another channel for women to do what they enjoy: shopping, talking, and caring," the report reads. "Men, on the other hand, take care of the technology side of the house: They are more likely to research and buy DVDs and computer goods, for example."

Forrester says that because women tend to do more-personal, less-technical activities online, they also are less likely than men to use the Internet as an information source for product purchases or read consumer reviews for, say, automobiles or technical gear.

"Compared with men, women are more likely to research and buy clothes, health and beauty products, and holiday travel online; they send greeting cards more often; and they are more likely to buy products for others," the report states.

While men are more likely to be online in general, they also stay online longer on average. According to Forrester's study, men spend more than two hours longer online each week than women, devoting most of that time to playing games. The study shows that in the past four years, the average time spent on the Internet by European users has increased from 7.3 hours to 8.4 hours per week.

"Young women are equally likely to be online as young men, but they report spending up to 3Â hours less per week on the Internet than their young male counterparts," the report reads.

The results of this recent Forrester study of European men and women are consistent with those of a similar 2005 study Forrester conducted with North American Internet users, which showed that while men and woman are equally likely to be online, gender stereotypes persisted in the activities they chose to indulge in on the Internet.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Denise Dubie

Network World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?