Sex Roles

, Volume 44, Issue 5–6, pp 363–379 | Cite as

Gender and the Internet: Women Communicating and Men Searching

  • Linda A. Jackson
  • Kelly S. Ervin
  • Philip D. Gardner
  • Neal Schmitt


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.


Depression Direct Effect Gender Difference General Model Social Psychology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda A. Jackson
    • 1
  • Kelly S. Ervin
    • 2
  • Philip D. Gardner
    • 2
  • Neal Schmitt
    • 2
  1. 1.Michigan State UniversityUSA;
  2. 2.Washington State UniversityUSA

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