Internet Use Among Female and Male College Students

Document Type



Published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. in CyberPsychology & Behavior; October 2000, vol. 3 issue 5, pages 855-862.
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College students, internet, internet users, gender


A review of the recent literature concerning Internet usage among Americans reveals that the once stark gender gap is closing rapidly, but disparities remain in the purposes for which males and females use the Internet. Almost all of this research, however, is based on cross sections of American adults. Much less Internet research has focused on the college student population and, in particular, on female students; the few published studies show that female college students use the Internet less than males. However, even these recent studies may already be dated. This study, based on a large survey of college students from institutions of higher learning in Georgia, Hawaii, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, considers these questions: (1) Has the gender gap in Internet use narrowed among college students to the same extent as it has in the general adult population? (2) Do female students differ from males in how they spend their time on the Internet? (3) Does family income, parental education or type of college influence female college students' use of the Internet? Results indicate that while the gender gap in use of the Internet has nearly closed, differences still remain in how male and female undergraduates use the Internet.