Study: More women embracing Web communities

Apr 06, 2010 By BARBARA ORTUTAY , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- In a sharp reversal, more young women are now embracing online communities than their male counterparts, a new study says.

By contrast, men are showing some signs of "networking fatigue," with fewer men saying that their online are as important as their offline equivalents.

The shift in attitudes between the two sexes has taken place over just a couple of years.

Researchers at the University of Southern California are reporting this week that 67 percent of women under 40 said they feel as strongly about their Internet communities as their offline ones, while only 38 percent of men said the same.

In 2007, the numbers were just the reverse, with 69 percent of the men and 35 percent of the women feeling that way.

Internet communities don't just mean social networks such as and , but include online gathering sites focused on hobbies, politics or spirituality.

Michael Gilbert, senior fellow at USC's Annenberg Center for the Digital Future, said women tend to adopt new technologies more slowly than men, but once they do, they catch up and often surpass men in their enthusiasm.

Men made up the bulk of the shoppers who lined up Saturday to get their hands on Apple's new in many cities including Seattle and New York, but that doesn't mean that gender disparity is permanent.

Gilbert said women are finding deeper connections to Web communities because many of them go there for social reasons rather than to find information about hobbies, for example. Men, especially those from 25 to 39, are disengaging from social networks.

"The infatuation is over," he said.

In 2005, 77 percent of men under 40 said their online community was "extremely important." That number has now dropped to 39 percent.

The latest findings are part of the Annenberg Center's decade-long study of 2,000 families and their digital habits. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Explore further: Facebook awards 'Internet Defense Prize'

4 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Gender affects perceptions of infidelity

Oct 29, 2008

A new study in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy explored how men and women perceive online and offline sexual and emotional infidelity. Results show that men felt sexual infidelity was more upsetting and women felt e ...

Women feel pain more often than men

Jul 06, 2005

Women feel pain more than men -- the opposite of widely held beliefs that men are more susceptible to pain, British researchers at the University of Bath say.

Religion habit cuts anxiety in women

Jan 01, 2008

For many, religious activity changes between childhood and adulthood, and a new study finds this could affect one’s mental health.

Recommended for you

Facebook awards 'Internet Defense Prize'

11 minutes ago

Facebook awarded a $50,000 Internet Defense Prize to a pair of German researchers with a seemingly viable approach to detecting vulnerabilities in Web applications.

Twitter tries to block images of Foley killing

19 hours ago

Twitter and some other social media outlets are trying to block the spread of gruesome images of the beheading of journalist James Foley by Islamic State militants, while a movement to deny his killers publicity ...

New generation is happy for employers to monitor them on social media

19 hours ago

Will employers in the future watch what their staff get up to on social media? Allowing bosses or would-be employers a snoop around social media pages is a growing trend in the US, and now a new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Said Business School suggest ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

UrinalGum
not rated yet Apr 07, 2010
Is that why Fark is getting all of these retarded links to "The Frisky" and other Cosmo-esque articles?

/I quit. I'm going to the monastery: http://www.urinal...m/?p=259