Sex Roles

, Volume 44, Issue 5, pp 363–379

Gender and the Internet: Women Communicating and Men Searching


    • Michigan State University
  • Kelly S. Ervin
    • Washington State University
  • Philip D. Gardner
    • Washington State University
  • Neal Schmitt
    • Washington State University

DOI: 10.1023/A:1010937901821

Cite this article as:
Jackson, L.A., Ervin, K.S., Gardner, P.D. et al. Sex Roles (2001) 44: 363. doi:10.1023/A:1010937901821


This research examined gender differences in Internet use and factors responsible for these differences. A sample of 630 Anglo American undergraduates completed the Student Computer and Internet Survey that contained questions about e-mail and Web use, and about potential affective and cognitive mediators of use. Based on a general model of Internet use, we predicted and found that females used e-mail more than did males, males used the Web more than did females, and females reported more computer anxiety, less computer self-efficacy, and less favorable and less stereotypic computer attitudes. Path analysis to identify mediators of gender differences in Internet use revealed that computer self-efficacy, loneliness, and depression accounted in part for gender differences, but that gender continued to have a direct effect on use after these factors were considered. Implications for realizing the democratizing potential and benefits of Internet use are discussed.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001