Gender and the Use of the Internet

A survey was done through Skidmore college investigating the media use of many in the community. The survey consisted of a few questions regarding subjects such as internet use, television, political choices, and both age and gender.I was given the designation of focusing on one of the aspects of the survey. I chose to focus on the subject of internet use and whether or not the way people use the internet is gendered.

The survey was divided first into two different types of use on the internet. The first was work, and the second was pleasure. Each of these sections were divided up into different amounts of use ranging from 0 to 40+ hours measured in a week. The first section I looked as was the data regarding work internet. Through this data I found that the highest grouping of internet users used the internet for about 5–15 hours a week.

The lowest group was those who did not use the internet at all for their work measuring at only 7.4%.

The next chart that I looked at was measuring the use of the Internet for pleasure in frequency.

In this data I found that a majority of the people use the internet for pleasure on the lower end of the spectrum with the lowest number using it for 40+ hours a week. A majority of people used it, but not for that long using between 1–15 hours a week. In terms of both types of internet use the average user was on the internet about 5–15 hours for both a week.

Having this information I decided to take a look at a cross tabulation that would see if there was a difference in the amount of use of both men and women when it came to using the web for both work and pleasure. Do they use the internet the same, and if they use the internet about the same amount, how does the distribution between work and pleasure work? The first set of data I took a look at was the work-internet crosstab.

In this cross tab I found that there was a slight variation in the percentage for each use but as a whole, the majority of both men and women use the internet from 5–15 hours a week. It is also interesting to note that the percentage of men who used no internet for their work is significantly lower than women. only 2% of men reported that there was no use of the internet at work, while 10% of women didn’t use it.

Next was the cross tab for using the internet for pleasure.

In this cross tab it seems similar to the other frequencies, but with one slight difference. Men use the internet for pleasure for slightly longer than women. The largest group of men use it for 5–15 hours while women by a slight margin tend to use it for only up to 5 hours.

The conclusion reached by these tables is generally men use the internet for more time than women every week across both work and pleasure in this survey. Although the hyper users (40+ hours a week) tend to be similar, the everyday experiences for men seem to determine that they use the internet more on average.

Overall however, the data makes it seem that men and women spend close to an equal amount of time on the internet. The slight difference in use that favors men is interesting, but could be less significant than the data shows There could be many factors into why this may be the case that could not be approached through this survey. The internet use described here was self determined and not observed meaning that any person answering could estimate the amount they used the web. The observable truth may be very different than their estimates. Another factor is how men and women use the internet differently. Do they access the same information? How do they go about accessing it? The length of time could be determined by the route and websites that genders use to acquire information. Another important question raised by this survey is why men in their work use the internet significantly more than females. This survey was taken on a college campus which generally means that as a whole the type of work that is being done should be similar. The way men are using the internet in their work could be a great question to explore further.

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