Study: College Men, Women Share Similar Habits
In Technology Use, Ownership
In contrast to the perspective that women lag behind men in adopting computer technology, a national survey has revealed that college women share more similarities with college men over information technology ownership and use than ever. The annual 360 Youth College Explorer study that polled college men and women on technology use yielded results which challenge widely held presumptions that young women are slow to adopt technology.
According to the study, women are bridging the gap in:
• Computers and Television — 91 percent of college students have computers and 84 percent have televisions (equal between men and women).
• Gaming — College women spend almost as much time playing online computer games as men. College women spend 2.7 hours a week playing computer games online vs. men who spend 2.9 hours a week. College men and women are almost equally likely to own a portable video game system (27 percent vs. 22 percent).
• Downloading — College men and women are four times as likely to download music (59 percent) as the general online population (14 percent). Eight percent of college men online download music daily versus 5 percent of women.
• Digital Cameras — Digital camera ownership is similar between college men and women (35 percent vs. 32 percent).
The 360 Youth College Explorer Study, fielded online by Harris Interactive during the fall 2003 semester, polled 4,608 college students aged 18-30. Topic areas included sources of income, Internet and downloading behavior, dining and entertainment spending, as well as vacation/travel spending behavior. Spending on other categories such as automotive, personal care products, over-the-counter medication and financial services was also examined.
“The current youth generation is becoming more and more led by females,” said John Geraci, vice president of Youth and Education Research, Harris Interactive. “Almost three-fourths (72 percent) of new undergraduate enrollees are women, and they are increasingly in leadership positions in student activities. The fact that college women have closed the technology gender gap is an encouraging trend for marketers, retailers and consumers in general, and indicates that college women are an increasingly powerful force.”
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