Abstract - The Information Society 22(4)

Gender and IT in the Household: Evolving Patterns of Internet Use in the United States

Ruby Roy Dholakia

IT – computers and related technologies – is the latest technology to enter the household. Like other technologies, gender is a major factor in its adoption and use as well as its perceived usefulness. Unlike prior household technologies, computer’s entry into the household has followed a different pattern. Early statistics revealed a vast gender divide, with men using computers and related technologies much more in the household. More recent statistics show a narrowing of the divide, perhaps even a reversal, particularly in the United States, with women outnumbering men in the access to and use of the Internet. In this paper, the role of gender and its relationship with Internet use in the home is reviewed. In addition to overall adoption and access, the review focuses on specific Internet applications and examines the factors that contribute to gender differences in adoption and use of computers and Internet applications in the home.


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