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December 29, 2005

Shock Poll: Men And Women Use Internet For Different Purposes

Knock me over with a feather:

[The] research found that men value the net for the freedom it gives them to try new ways of doing things.

You think they're going to mention porn, don't you? Well, they don't. It's never brought up. What a sham.

By contrast women like the opportunities the net gives them to make and maintain human connections.

They're not going to mention cyber, either.

Men tend to be first to try out new net technologies and 68% of the men questioned are the administrator of a household's computer compared to 45% of women.

You can't make a woman the administrator of the computer, 'cause she'll blow the whole thing up. Or, worse yet, find your "secret special folders."

The Pew report also found that men are more likely to use the net to get at all kinds of information about sports results, weather, news, job offers and consumer ratings for goods and services.

Yep... we spend our time on the Internet looking for "sports results," vigorous physical contests, wink-wink, nudge-nudge.

A woman's use of the net is more likely to involve greater use of e-mail as well as searches for health and medical information, map directions and religious material.

When gathering information women tended to prefer to use e-mail exchanges with individuals and support groups.

Women also tended to use e-mail to communicate with friends and family, to keep in touch and to maintain social ties. By contrast men tended to use e-mail as a way to maintain links with organisations rather than individuals.

Fun aside, I'm going to call BS on this whole "survey." I hate to sound like Neal Gabler, but it seems Pew came up with few real differences between men and women (except for porn, which they don't mention), and so they've made the most of small differences in usage and have deemed them "striking."

They're putting women into the "nuturer looking to maintain connections, and all worried about health issues and 'news you can use'" narrative that's kind of true but also overstated, while putting men into the "abstract but practical thinkers" category, which is also kind of true but overstated.

Women use the internet to get maps more than men do? By what differential? Again, with the survey showing not much difference at all, they fall back on the stereotype of women asking for directions and men relying on geomantic electrosense to guide them to parts unknown. I use maps all the time. Google maps is the best, true dat, double true!

Men were also more likely to use the net for recreation and to listen to music, gather information for hobbies and take part in online fantasy sports leagues.

Wow. Men are more likely to take part in online fantasy sports leagues? What would we have done without this study?

How about this for an overreaching, overblown concluding thought:

"We may soon look back on it as a charming, even quaint moment, when men reached for the farthest corners of the internet, trying and experimenting with whatever came along, and when women held the internet closer and tried to keep it a bit more under control."

Here's my concluding thought:

Pew spent a lot of money and manhours doing 6000 interviews with people, found few major differences between men and women's internet usage (except for porn, which they don't mention, and of course online videogames and fantasy sports leagues), but are hellbent to recover something from this big database o' nothing at all.

Thanks to Allah.

Never Trust The BBC! Update: The BBC edited out what I imagine is the greatest difference in male/female internet usage-- porn --but CNN, bless their hearts, didn't:

Internet users share many common interests, but men are heavier consumers of news, stocks, sports and pornography, while more women look for health and religious guidance, a broad survey of U.S. Web usage has found.

What the hell kind of news outfit is the BBC, anyhow? How does something like that -- the main difference here, which of course we all already know -- get edited out? For what reason? I know that such things don't offend their conservative religious values. So what sort of weird need to bowlderize prompted that?

Thanks to Slublog for pointing that out.

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posted by Ace at 01:54 PM

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