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Gender and the Internet


  • Hiroshi Ono,

  • Madeline Zavodny

Direct all correspondence to Hiroshi Ono, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, S-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden 〈〉. We thank Junichiro Miyabe, Juro Toda, and Wayne Parsons for assistance with the Nomura Research Institute data set. We also thank the Social Science Quarterly reviewers and Robert Lineberry for helpful comments. The data are available from the authors for purposes of replication. This work was commenced when the second author was at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Any views expressed here are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve System or the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.


Objective. This article examines whether there are differences in men's and women's use of the Internet and whether any such gender gaps have changed in recent years.

Methods. We use data from several surveys during the period 1997–2001 to show trends in Internet usage and to estimate regression models of Internet usage that control for individuals’ socioeconomic characteristics.

Results. Women were significantly less likely than men to use the Internet at all in the mid-1990s, but this gender gap in being online disappeared by 2000. However, once online, women remain less frequent and less intense users of the Internet.

Conclusions. There is little reason for concern about sex inequalities in Internet access and usage now, but gender differences in frequency and intensity of Internet usage remain.