Men more likely to share work online

June 23, 2008 at 1:44 PM
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EVANSTON, Ill., June 23 (UPI) -- A U.S. study finds men are more likely to share their creative work online than are women, despite both being engaged in creative activities at equal rates.

"Because sharing information on the Internet today is a form of participating in public culture and contributing to public discourse, that gap tells us that men's voices are being disproportionately heard," said Northwestern University Assistant Professor Eszter Hargittai, who co-authored the study with Northwestern researcher Gina Walejko.

Overall, the researchers found nearly two-thirds of men reported posting their work online, while only half of women reported doing so. But when Hargittai and Northwestern's Walejko controlled for self-reported digital literacy and Web knowledge, they found that men and women actually posted their material about equally.

"This suggests that the Internet is not an equal playing field for men and women since those with more online abilities -- whether perceived or actual -- are more likely to contribute online content," said Hargittai. "

The study recently appeared in the journal Information, Communication and Society.

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