Cyberjanes and Cyberjitters: Myths and Realities of Gender Differences and the Net

WAAL Spring Conference Talk April 12, 2000
© 2000 Phyllis Holman Weisbard

As you saw in the description for our session, we are going to share our knowledge of misconceptions and facts concerning gender differences and similarities in Internet use. Tracy, a psychologist, will discuss what we know from psychology and child development that serves as predictors of computer use. I've been interested in looking at the surveys about Internet use, and ways in which women actually seem to be using the Net.

If this session were in early in the 1990s -- even as late as 1996, it's clear from both survey and scholarly literature that we would definitely have been talking about a gender gap in usage of computers in general and the Internet in particular. Article after article made this point. The early articles and books primarily dealt with the computer mediated communication aspect of the Internet -- there was no mass World Wide Web yet - or even Mosaic or Gopher [check date!!!]. Art critic Shirley Read, for ex., worried about a "Glass Ceiling in Cyberspace?" in Women's Art.(1) She cited a November 1994 survey that determined that 90% of net users were male.(2) Elsewhere, CompuServe estimated its female membership at 12% in 1994.(3) In "Gender Issues in Computer Networking," Leslie Regan Shade(4) pointed out that even in unmoderated feminist newsgroups such as alt.feminism and soc.women, approximately 80% of the messages were posted my men [In the moderated soc.feminism, the rate was more 50/50.].

Gender differences in electronic communication also caught the attention of researchers. Susan Herring starting publishing on that subject in 1992. She found men's messages posted on lists to be 1 to 2 times as long as those posted by women. "If I see a message that's more than four screens, I can probably predict with 98% accuracy that it's a man," she told an Atlanta Constitution reporter.(5) In the Spring of 1994 she began a study that has been quite influential -- we continue to hear echoes of it today in these days of rampant commercialism of the Net -- but it is also noteworthy because she closely analyzed posting behavior on several academic lists - where, presumably, the participant base is all academics with (for that time) easy access to computers, and women and men have similar educational backgrounds, jobs, etc. She looked at 8 lists with a wide range of percentage of female posters. [PHILOSOP-11%, POLITICS 17%, PAGLIA 34%, LINGUIST 36%, MBU (discussion of computers and writing) 42%, TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) 56%, SWIP (Society for Women in Philosophy) 80%, WMSPRT (women's spirituality and feminist oriented religions) 81%, and WMST-L (women's studies), 88%.(6) She found that CMC, rather than neutralizing gender distinctions, reproduced or even exaggerated gendered differences found in face-to-face encounters. Herring attributed the differences she observed to differences in value systems, both in the posting behavior and in interpreting and evaluating that behavior.

Adversarial /challenging/superior stance [mostly from males] vs. expressions of support [mostly from females] was the main difference she found.

ex: on PHILOSOP "While I do not especially care how this gets settled, I am surprised by the continuing absurdity of the discussion." Herring codes this as 'distancing stance, pre-supposed put-down."

'Aileen, I just wanted to let you know that I have really enjoyed all your posts about women's herstory. That have been extremely informative and I've learned a lot about the women's movement. Thank you!'

To dig deeper, Herring also surveyed the list members and found different value structures. Men championed individual freedom as the highest good, women, "harmonious interpersonal interaction." Men like debate - "constructive denunciation" one male SWIP member called it, but not open hostility or flaming. In contrast, many women did not distinguish between hostile angry adversarial comments and "rational adversariality." She also found that the differences in values permeated the netiquette guidelines exercised on the lists. Members of predominantly female lists tended to look with disfavor on people who posted long, frequent messages - bandwidth hogs - whereas the predominantly male lists saw this as an issue of individual rights. To the extent that CMC was evolving following the male model, it would not ever be equally hospitable to both men and women.

Herring also expressed the view to the reporter that "If there was [I bet she actually said "were..."] a critical mass of women on the Internet, then the norms would change."(7)

In response to the perceived gap, numerous organizations and business ventures jumped into the fray, full of ideas on how to get more women involved. Women's and feminist magazines offered female-friendly instructions. We published how-to guides in Feminist Collections. Sue Dentinger of Memorial Library's Library Technology Group got the ball rolling with a 2 part series "Using the Internet to Reach Libraries,"(8) in 1991, and I wrote "Gophering Around in Women's Studies," for our Winter 1994 issue.(9) Sojourner: the Women's Forum, a feminist monthly newspaper devoted most of its April 1995 issue to the subject, using catchy titles "America is On What? How to Get Online," by Ellen Hendrix and "This Way to the On-Ramp," by Glynys Thomas, a description of ECHO, an online service for women, (by Kris Kay) and an enticing "How to Have Fun in Cyberspace," paired with a cautionary "Reflections on Gender in Cyberspace," both by Isa Leshko. In 1996 Utne Reader opened a cybercafe that admitted all women entrants, but monitored the number of males with the goal of having no more than two men for every woman participant.(10) The stated goal was to create a place where men and women would feel comfortable and could create a community that valued "dialogue and relationships as much as debate and information exchanging." This sounds straight out of Herring's research!

Training groups such as the Network of East-West Women tried to narrow another gap - that between women users in the former Soviet Union and their Western sisters. If only 10 % of Internet users in the U.S. were women, the percentage of women users in the former Soviet Union wasn't even measurable. Another group, Electronic Witches, helped women in the former Yugoslavia learn how to use email to communicate with international funders and solidarity groups, to publish articles on local conditions, and to coordinate projects across national borders.(11)

Several books appeared, too, to guide women onto the Internet and to sites with women-focused content, when they became available - one or more of these are probably in your collections, or perhaps have been weeded out already.The first on the market were published by feminist presses: SurferGrrrls: Look Ethel! An Internet Guide for Us!, by Laurel Gilbert and Crystal Kile (Seal Press, 1996) called on women to "plug in, log on, sign up." Shana Penn covered both tools and sites in The Women's Guide to the Wired World: A User Friendly Handbook and Resource Directory (Feminist Press, 1996). Both Judith Broadhurst's Woman's Guide to On-Line Services (included resources for business and career, money management, child-rearing, and more) (McGraw Hill, 1995) and Aliza Sherman's Cybergrrl! : a woman's guide to the World Wide Web published by Ballantine, in 1998, showed that trade publishers expected to find a market for such guidebooks, too. The Internet for Women: Travel & Culture, by Rye Senjen (Spinifex, 1996) not only gave an overview of how the 'Net works, but also examined issues of anonymity, privacy, pornography, harassment, and security. Joan Korenman not only published a print resource Internet Resources on Women : Using Electronic Media in Curriculum Transformation, but took (and continues to take) advantage of the dynamism of the Internet by posting updates to the book on a website.(12) Scarlet Pollock and Jo Sutton edited a volume calling attention to how women's organizations can make use of the Internet to further their aims, in Virtual Organizing, Real Change : Women's Groups Using the Internet (Women'Space, 1997).

Gender issues in cyberspace also became a popular topic for scholarly analysis, starting with Dale Spender 's championing of the educational and self-publishing opportunities of the Internet for women, ever mindful of its social ramifications, in Nattering on the Net: Women, Power and Cyberspace (Spinifex 1995).Lynn Cherny and Elizabeth Reba Weise compiled the first collection of women's writing about cyberspace in Wired Women: Gender and New Realities in Cyberspace (Seal Press, 1996). Other recent titles warily probing the meaning of cyberculture for women are Cracking the Gender Code: Who Rules the Wired World, by Melanie Stewart Millar (Second Story Press, 1998), Women@Internet : Creating New Cultures in Cyberspace, edited by Wendy Harcourt (Zed, 1999), and one that must have been the bane of the original cataloger's existence who had to create a bibliographic record for Donna Haraway's Modest-Witness@Second-Millennium.FemaleMan-Meets-OncoMouse: Feminism and Technoscience (Routledge, 1997). That title doesn't sound too bad when uttered aloud, but in order to represent it as written, the cataloguer had to put in this note: "The title is an email address. On t.p. the hyphens are subscript; 'FemaleMan' is followed by the copyright symbol, and 'OncoMouse' by the superscript letters 'TM.' "

And a magazine called Women'Space started that was entirely devoted to women and the Internet - to using the Internet to empower women and to create a women's community online. As the editors said in their first issue: The digital revolution

can either help or hinder women, depending on the

choices we make now. We can leave it to the men and

allow women's exclusion OR we engage with it and

develop its infinite possibilities for the empowerment of

women.(13)

This magazine, now in its 6th year is available both in print and online. In a more recent issue, the editors launched a Women's Internet Campaign for women and girls "equal access, equal participation and equal voice in communications technologies."(14) It is not enough in their view to be consumers, or quiet recipients of whatever the web dishes up. They want women and minorities to have a voice in how the Web develops - so that society uses this wonderful technology for the betterment of humanity, not just for commerce. Take a look at it at http://www.womenspace.ca/

And the numbers of women users started climbing upward. Already in 1995, Neilsen reported that just over a third of Internet users were female.(15) And looking just at usage at universities and other schools, Matrix Information and Directory Services found gender parity was even closer: 59% men to 41% women(16) Interactive Publishing Alert's 1995 Survey of Women Online, sponsored by Apple Computer, and drew informants from users of Prodigy, CompuServe, America Online, the WELL, and other online networks. The 237 respondents named mailing with friends and family as the online feature they used most. Something that will sound different when we get to 1999 and 2000 surveys: only 20 of the respondents named online shopping, banking or travel reservations as the feature they used most.(17) Again, echoing Herring's research findings, thirty percent of the respondents in a follow-up survey said they would be very likely or likely to subscribe to an online service or publication that prohibited sexist remarks and flaming and vigorously policed infractions, whereas only two people raised censorship concerns.

By 1997, Computergram International reported that 48% of Americans who exchanged email at least three times a week were women.(18) Also that year Find/SVP American Internet User Survey showed that the number of women using the Internet had doubled since 1995, to some 9.9 million women.(19) That survey is noteworthy because the communication aspect of the Internet is no longer an interest of the surveyors - the phenomenon moved entirely into the commercial realm where what they want to know about is online shopping behavior. It gleefully reported that the respondents had spent an average of $400 online that past year and expected to spend some $600 the next. Thirty percent of the women had even penetrated that last bastion of male shopping supremacy, computer software! The main thrust of the survey was how businesses could attract even more women shoppers. "Put in more pictures of the goods," said the women. The survey company president, Amy Yoffie, said "Women are Information Gatherers -- they want to be able to pick and choose what they get," so give more specific product information. (While she mentioned "information," I could find little evidence that anyone is interested in surveying other types of online information seeking among women - or men, for that matter, and I'll come back to that point a little later , but I just want to carry this survey data forward and comment on it first.) This is all very important to business because women buyers account for 70 percent of all retail sales in the United States and as much as 80 percent of purchasing decisions(20) - so for Internet commerce to succeed, it needs to be that successful with women.(21)

I would now like to show you some brief video clips of a running concept from GOOD MORNING AMERICA that aired last November. And I'd like to thank Jana Reeg Steidinger of UW-Stout for mentioning this to me while I was up at Stout during the week it was going on and I was able to catch and tape the last two segments. The program put two people, one man, one woman, dubbed "e-cavers" in apartments alone for a week and gave them each $500 a day to spend online. I'd like you to watch for any differences in their behavior and in their reflections about their experiences. The first clip will begin with host Charles Gibson introducing the Friday audience to the E-Cavers on their last day in the E-Caves. The man and woman are videotaped and they use web cam to communicate, so there's a little distortion, but not much:

[Begins with "This is the true story.."

Ends with "As many as 40,000/day have been watching Darryl and Leslie live on webcam broadcasts."]

They were allowed to throw parties Thursday night and their party styles differed. Leslie had a catered affair; Darryl, pizza. Party goers teased him about having no sheets or towels. He made do with 2-ply napkins instead. Her friends barraged her with questions about the whole experience. Later in the Friday program we hear them advise what's good on the web:

[Begins: "I want to find out, Leslie, what's your advice for people shopping on the Internet..."

Ends: "Use websites that offer one-stop shopping."]

On Monday, they also reflected about their week:

[Begins: "You said it was a terrific experience..."

Ends at "Darryl Holler, here's a certificate for you..."]

What I find significant is that only the woman actually visited non-commercial sites and extols the virtue of the Net as a great resource for information - But the "information gatherer" type mentioned by Amy Yoffie above at least has a glimmer. We may start seeing more surveys that examine what sites women visit in addition to e-stores. Nielsen NetRatings, for example, has also ranked the major web sites with the highest percentage of female visitors. Want to guess?? They can be summarized as quality of life and health sites: Oprah.com, seventeen.com, and healthyideas.com were high on the NetRatings list.(22) As Allen Weiner, vice president of analytical services for NetRatings summarizes it, "Men tend to flock to news and information sites that present deep and rich information while women gravitate toward sites that provide topics related to health and well-being, with an accent on efficient use."(23) Feminist can have a field day analyzing his characterization -- why are news sites "deep and rich," but health sites aren't?? (The man in the Good Morning America segment was the one who mentioned The Wall Street Journal site.) And other studies have shown that pornographic sites are the most heavily visited by men. For example, one survey commissioned by Pogo.com, an online game service, questioned respondents about what they do online from work during breaks. Men were 20 times as likely to report they downloaded pornography. They were almost twice as likely as women to surf the Net with no particular objective and more than twice as likely to use the office computer to look for a new job.(24)

Another recent survey found that women are more likely than men to seek product information on health and beauty products, and less on travel, books, cars, software, or music.(25)

During the holiday shopping season in December 1999, the percentage of Internet users who are women achieved the 50 percent level.(26) So in some sense, we can say that the gender gap issue has been resolved. But that hasn't ended the interest of marketers in understanding the behavior of women online. In fact, it has only increased and refined it.

An outfit called NetSmart has been busy helping online businesses understand "What Makes Women Click?" [their pun, not mine](28) This 90s incarnation of Vance Packard's Hidden Persuaders says the key to successful female websites is making use of the interactive capabilities of the web to establish relationships with women shoppers. They have a six step program from initiating the relationship through subtle tactics of banner and home page design, through deepening the relationship by asking motivating survey questions. NetSmart claims it will give its customers "the inside tract to get inside women's minds and keep them inside" the customers website.

A 1999 study conducted by Proctor and Gamble, Harris Interactive, and Women.com network aimed to refine the information on the woman shopper. The average online-using woman among the 22,000 they studied is married, in her thirties and with a generally high household income.(29) They study identified six types of women who use the Net:

Movers - the most educated, ambitious, upwardly mobile and career oriented - this group spends the most per item

Believers - rural homemakers; they care about the price and have more than likely never make an online purchase before

Trendsetters - like to stand out from the crowd; made her first purchase a few years ago

Explorers - modal age: 28; they love to shop and don't care about the price; browers interested in interesting experiences

Breadwiners

Pillars

AdRelevance is another group interested in gender differences in online behavior, or what they term different tastes so that web advertisers can target their web ad placement and message accordingly. For their purposes it doesn't matter what the purpose is of the site visited, as long as it has ads. Their survey announced in January 2000 lists sites with higher and concentrations of female visitors.(30) Most of the sites mentioned are shopping related, but not all. ToysRUs.com, etoys.com, ivillage sites, women.com, coolsavings.com, Kbkids.com, egreetings.com, onhealth.com, freeshop.com, and valupage.com all had more than 60% of their visitors women, whereas they constituted generally a third or less of the visitors to cnet.com, zdnet, espn, windowsmedia, broadcast.com.inc., sportsline.usa, moneycentral, hp.com, usatoday.com, and nfl.com. They don't say, by the way, how they knew the gender of the visitors.

Differences in the amount of time women and men spend online is another measurement that is catching the eye of market researchers. Men surfed the web an average of 95 minutes longer than women in February, 1999, but 132 minutes longer in December.(31)

Women are apparently more jittery than men about transaction security, according to Cyber Dialogue, an Internet customer relations management company.(32)

Cyber Dialogue's January 2000 in-depth interview with 1,000 Internet users and 1,000 nonusers found that nearly 70 % of women who seek product information online still end up going offline to make purchases. Nearly 90% of online women told the interviewers that guaranteed transaction security influences their report visits to online shopping site. (No comparable figures were given in this survey for males.)

It is hard to find data that is not from the marketing community, but there is be some scholarly interest in studying human behavior online. Stanford's Institute for the Quantitative Study of Society, for example, did a study released in February, 2000, on the effects of the Internet on daily life.(33) It noted few areas of gender differences. One was similar to the marketing information - it found that men are more likely than women to look up stock options and buy stocks online. But overall, gender differences in access and use were slim. Education and age were much more significant factors affecting access(34); where there were gender differences in access, they were mainly among unemployed men and women. In terms of usage, the researchers concluded that once people were connected, all demographic factors amounted to only six per cent variation in how much or what they use the Internet for. Taking issue somewhat with the Nielsen/Netratings study that found men spend 95-132 minutes/week more than women online, this one found that all demographic factors taken together accounted for at most 90 minutes/week differences. More significant was how long someone had been an Internet user; the longer, the more use(35).

I did find one interesting study about Internet use for political information - conducted in December, 1999, by Lake Snell Perry & Associates [Democratic pollster Celinda Lake's company]in conjunction with The Tarrance Group for the Democracy Online Project of theGraduate School of Political Management at George Washington University. Basically, the researchers identified two groups "attentive voters," and "inattentive voters," and proceeded to analyze what types of sites the voter groups trusted and what factors they used to assess the credability of a site. I'll just mention the aspects of the study where gender differences were found, but there's lots more in the study, which you can read on line at http://democracyonline.org/numbers/dec6survey.shtml .(36) Among the attentive group, men were more likely to have used the Internet to learn about political candidates (34 percent) than were attentive women (26%). Women found websites sponsored by parties or candidates more trustworthy than did men [no percentages given], and it is somewhat more important to them that official sites be accurately labelled as such. The only other area in which the genders diverged was that women were more likely than men to rate a privacy policy displayed and enforced on the site as important. I predict that we will be seeing more studies in the future that look at information-seeking on the Internet and attendant gender differences as social scientists become more aware of this whole new territory ripe for dissertations.

When I started planning this talk, I was very curious whether the attitudes and use pattern of women librarians would differ in any significant ways from women generally. After all, computers have been a feature of our jobs for a generation; anyone with computer phobia, anxiety, or simple discomfort has probably eased out -- or been driven out of the profession -- some time ago, particularly in academic settings in North America. Think about it. Do you know any academic librarian who doesn't use email? -who can't go online and dig up the particulars about any given person, travel destination, recipe, or goods? And shouldn't our 83% dominance in our profession influence the power dynamics in our electronic discussions? I assumed our long term use of computers in our work, combined with the female intensivity of our numbers would be a natural intrigue for social scientists. I hoped to find some data that would address gendered aspects of our attitudes towards the Internet, and our behavior pattern. But somewhat to my surprise, there is very little. Social scientists haven't taken any interest in us, and we tend to study our users rather than ourselves.(37) Librarian Roxanne Missingham published the only study of librarians comparable to Herring's that I could find, in The Australian Library Journal, which I had to obtain on ILL in order to read...(38) She studied two librarian lists, FEMINIST - the Feminist Task Force of ALA and PACS-L during a two-week period in May, 1994, and sent a survey to members of both lists. Her survey interests diverged somewhat from Herring's - she was interested in job-seeking behavior, mentoring, etc., but her observations about the two lists more closely paralleled Herring. While 68.1 percent of the messages on FEMINIST were clearly from women, only 32.3 percent were on PACS-L. On both services women sent more messages seeking information, participating in general discussion, discussing sexual harassment or discrimination, or supporting others. Male participants sent more messages proportionally providing information (reports of conferences/hearings, suggestions about resources or information sources, criticizing; "Power and aggression were characteristic of males, while sharing and information-seeking were more characteristic of females." (P. 114) Missingham concluded that the communication patterns on these lists was consistent with traditional gendered structures in society.

Any discussion of women and the Internet can't close without a reminder that globally the Internet is an overwhelmingly male domain, even in other Westernized or Westernizing countries. In Japan, women are just 17.2% (1999 date),(39) although almost 40 percent of NEW users. Guess what percentage of Net users in Russia are women? As of October, 1999, about 19 percent.(40) France comes closer to the U.S., with a 42% rate.(41) And the Internet does reach every country and at least some women inhabitants. Believe it or not, in 1999 women in Saudi Arabia were granted permission to go online in an internet café in Jeddah - in a separate room from the men.(42) But the majority of the world's women (and men) have no access to the Internet, have no money to buy things on the Internet or anywhere else, have no telephones, let alone modems, and don't get surveys emailed to them, faxed to them, or snail mailed to them. One of the most striking things I took back from an international conference I attended in 1998 on "women's information services," is that the only technology that can reliably reach the majority of women in the world today is the radio, and the conference platform called for more informational radio programming for poor women.

There is, therefore, a gaping digital divide in usage of the Internet between have and havenot countries and populations that transcends gender differences. And yet, for those of us who live in the U.S., looking at gender differences in online behavior can be an interesting project that helps us more fully understand both how the Internet is changing our lives - and how old patterns persist.

1. Jan/Feb. 1996 pp. 10-11.

2. Atlas Website: http://www.rhythm.com/bpowell/atlas/toc.html

3. Cited in "Women Linking Up to Explore On-Line," by Ilana DeBare, Sacramento Bee, Jan. 22, 1996, p.A7.

4. First given as a talk at "Community Networking: The Int'l Free-Net Conference, Carleton U., Ottawa, Canada, August 17-19, 1993. Not very different figures were found when a reporter for The Record spent an afternoon lurking on alt.feminism and soc.women in 1995. He found 65% of the comments on the former were made by men -- or at least had men's names listed as the authors - and 72% on soc.women. ("Women Find Cyberspace is a Man's World: Harassment and Hostility Go On-Line," by Robert Gebeloff, in The Record, February 21, 1995.)

5. Quoted in "Male-Female Communication: Virtual Café Seeks Equal Access for Women," by Carrie Teegardin, Atlanta Constitution Feb. 22, 1996.

6. Susan Herring. "Posting in a Different Voice: Gender and Ethics in Computer-Mediated Communication," chapter 6 in Philosophical Perspectives on Computer-Mediated Communication, ed. by Charles Ess Albany (State University of New York Press, 1996), pp. 95-145. The information about which lists she examined is in her endnote 4, p. 140.

7. "Male-Female Communication: Virtual Café Seeks Equal Access for Women," by Carrie Teegardin, Atlanta Constitution Feb. 22, 1996.

8. Feminist Collections, v. 12, no. 3 (Spring 1991): 8-11 and vol. 12, no. 4 (Summer, 1991): 11-15.

9. Feminist Collections, v. 15, no. 4 (Winter 1994):18-22.

10. "Male-Female Communication: Virtual Café Seeks Equal Access for Women," by Carrie Teegardin, Atlanta Constitution Feb. 22, 1996. URL for the café: http://www.utne.com/cafe.

11. Kathryn Turnipseed. "Electronic Witches: Women Activists Using E-mail in the Former Yugoslavia," Feminist Collections v. 17, no. 2 (Winter 1996):22-23.

12. http://www-unix.umbc.edu/~korenman/wmst/updates.html

13. "Taking Our Place in Cyberspace," Women'Space, vol. 1, no. 1 (June 1995)

14. Jo Sutton and Scarlet Pollock. "The Women's Internet Campaign," Women'Space vol. 4, no. 3 (Summer 1999).

15. Nielsen Media Research for Commerce Net, reported in "Another Survey of Internet Users is Out, and This One Has Statistical Credibility," Technology column by Peter H. Lewis, New York Times, October 30, 1995, p. C3

16. "Internet Gender Gap Narrows," dateline San Francisco, May 11, 1995 - forwarded to the list internet-women-info.

17. News release by Rosalind Resnick, Ed. & Publisher, Interactive Publishing Alert, and Executive Summary were on http://www.netcreations.com/ipa/ (May 31, 1995). [IPA has changed hands - now called Phillips Business Information Media Group. Could not find this release under the new group, March 9, 2000.]

18. Computergram International November 17, 1997 [in Nexis] - no author.

19. Cited in Interactive Marketing News, May 30, 1997, no. 22, vol. 4 [in Nexis]; see http://www.findsvp.com for the survey. It was conducted by Research Connections, Inc. (http://www.researchconnections.com). [The publication has changed hands and names a few times since 1997. Latest is Interactive P.R. and Marketing News.

20. "Harris Interactive: Six Types of Women Who Use the Net," NUA Internet Surveys, info. is datelined Nov. 18, 1999; accessed Dec. 19, 1999; http://www.nua.ie/surveys/

21. "Women Begin Closing the Internet Gender Gap,: Women's Connection Online, Inc., July 17, 1998, http://www.womenconnect.com .

22. Reported by Joanna Glasner in "Gender Gap? What Gender Gap?" Wired News, Dec. 3, 1999, http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,32327,00.html

23. "Web Gender Gap Narrows as More Women Go Online-Survey," Reuters January 25, 2000; (report of the year-end Nielsen/NetRatings) http://www.foxnews.com/vtech/0120/t_rt_0120_71.sml

24. Mickey Meece, "Many Play Online at Work (and Some Look for New Jobs)," The New York Times Feb. 3, 2000, D3.

25. "Cyber Dialogue Finds Women Reluctant to Shop Online Due to Security Concerns," report on CyberDialogue's American Internet User Survey, January 10, 2000,

http://www.cyberdialogue.com/resource/press/releases/2000/01-10-ic-security.html

26. By June, 1999, Nielsen estimated that women accounted for 46 percent of the 92 million adults online in North America.(27)

27. "Women Shoppers Head to the Web in Force as the Number of Internet Buyers Jumps 40% in Nine Months." New Release from Nielsen Media Research posted at http://www.nielsenmedia.com/newsreleases/releases/1999/commercenet.html . - " -" - http://www.foxnews.com/vtech/0120/t_rt_0120_71.sml

28. http://www.netsmart-research.com/main_sum.html .

29. Ken Woo, "Women Gaining Speed Towards Online Purchases - Study," Post-Newsweek Business Information, Inc. Newsbytes, Nov. 10, 1999.

30. Charlie Buchwalter, et al., "Wired Women: Women Emerging As Coveted Audience Among Online Advertisers ," AdRelevence Intelligence, January 17, 2000, http://www.adrelevance.com/intelligence/intel.jsp

31. "Web Gender Gap Narrows as More Women Go Online-Survey," Reuters January 25, 2000; (report of the year-end Nielsen/NetRatings) http://www.foxnews.com/vtech/0120/t_rt_0120_71.sml

32. "Cyber Dialogue Finds Women Reluctant to Shop Online Due to Security Concerns," report on CyberDialogue's American Internet User Survey, January 10, 2000,

http://www.cyberdialogue.com/press/releases/ecom-women_security.html

33. "Study of the Social Consequences of the Internet," February 17, 2000,

http://www.stanford.edu/group/siqss/Press_Release/internetStudy.html

34. "Differences in Rate of Internet Access: Effects of Age, Education, Gender, Race/Ethnicity, Income" chart http://www.stanford.edu/group/siqss/Press_Release/Chart15.gif

35. "Differences in Hours of Internet Use: Effects of Gender, Age, Retirement, Internet Years" chart: http://www.stanford.edu/group/siqss/Press_Release/Chart16.gif; "Differences in Range of Internet Activities: Effects of Gender, Age, Education, Internet Years" chart: http://www.stanford.edu/group/siqss/Press_Release/Chart17.gif

36. http://democracyonline.org/numbers/dec6survey.shtml is a summary of the findings and methodology. Definitions of attentive and inattentive: attentive pay some attention to government and politics, read a newspaper at least once a week, and volunteer at least once or twice a month for a voluntary, civic, community, or political organization other than a church or religious organization. Inattentive do none of these.

37. For ex: "Internet Use and Gender at Emory & Henry College: a Survey of Student Users," by Felicia Mitchell. College & Undergraduate Libraries, v. 5(2), 1998, pp. 1-9, which found that college women there used the Internet less than men, were not equally active in using it, and were not interested in using it for the same reasons. More women than men said that they used the Internet for educational reasons (31 % vs. 12%), but fewer had cited an Internet source in a paper (33 % vs. 59%).

38. "Cyberspace; No Women Need Apply? Librarians and the Internet." V. 45 (May 1996), pp. 102-19.

39. "AsiaBizTech: Number of Japanese Women Online Surges," NUA Internet Surveys-Readership Questinnaire - info. is datelined Jan 13, 1999; website read Oct. 18, 1999: http://www.nua.ie/surveys/

40. "COMCON: 81 Percent of Russian Users are Male," NUA Internet Surveys-Readership Questionnaire, info. is datelined October 7, 1999; website read Oct. 18, 1999: http://www.nua.ie/surveys/

41. "Noatris: More Women Embrace the Net in France," NUA Internet Surveys-Readership Questionnaire, info. is datelined Oct. 14, 1999; website read Oct. 18, 1999: http://www.nua.ie/surveys/

42. "Techserver: Saudi Arabia Opens Up Internet Access," NUA Internet Surveys-Readership Questionnaire, info. is datelined Feb. 3, 1999; website read Oct. 18, 1999: http://www.nua.ie/surveys/