‘Men more enthused about online creative work than women’

June 25th, 2008 - 3:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, June 25 (IANS) Men appear more enthused or active in sharing creative work online than women, though both engage in Net-based creative pursuits almost equally. In a new study, almost two-thirds of men surveyed reported posting their work online while only half of women said they did.

“Sharing information on the Net is a form of participating in public culture and contributing to public discourse, that tells us men’s voices are being disproportionately heard,” said Eszter Hargittai of Northwestern University and co-author of the study.

“This suggests that the Internet is not an equal playing field for men and women since those with more online abilities — whether perceived or actual — are more likely to contribute online content,” noted Hargittai.

Hargittai found men were more than twice as likely to share music on the Web that they had created or re-mixed than were women; and that men were also considerably more likely to post film or video they made when compared to women.

“Much of the early research about the Web dwelt on accessibility and on digital technology’s ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’,” said Hargittai. And early conversations about the Web revolved around its potential as a social leveller once access issues were resolved.

But the new study suggests that there is more to the Net than accessibility than previously thought.

The study was based on a survey of 1,060 freshmen from the University of Illinois, Chicago, which, according to U.S. News & World Report, is one of the nation’s most ethnically diverse universities.

The study has been published in the journal Information, Communication and Society.

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