Gender Attitudes in Internet Use
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Researchers are studying the language, attitudes and communications strategies used on the Internet by women and men, and their findings reveal that computer mediated communications are far from providing any sort of anonymity independent from gender, social class or racial attributes, according to some surveys reported by the Computer Professionals for Social Responsability Newsletter.
Some years ago it was supposed that cyberspace was the environment where gender-free equality could arise.
Far from that however, several findings show that communications through the Internet reflect the typical gender tensions of everyday life. First, because people interact with their real-life identities without attempting to conceal their gender and secondly, each gender shows its particular communications pattern on-line. For instance, some researchers report that in discussion lists and newsgroups, males are more likely to post longer messages, begin and close discussions in mixed sex groups, assert opinions strongly as facts, use crude language and manifest an adversarial orientation. In contrast, females tend to post shorter messages, are more likely to qualify their assertions and apologize or express support to others. Thus males are more aggressive on-line and tend to dominate computer-mediated communication. The same people who hold power in the real world do so on-line as well.