Explaining the Gender Gap in Capital-Enhancing Website Use: The Effect of Male-Oriented Website Content

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Title: Explaining the Gender Gap in Capital-Enhancing Website Use: The Effect of Male-Oriented Website Content
Author: Solebello, Nicholas Paul
Advisors: Martha Crowley, Committee Chair
Abstract: The Internet has grown rapidly over the past two decades and researchers continue to discuss the potential benefits of Internet use depending on how an individual utilizes it. Researchers argue that a large part of the advantages from Internet use stem from visiting capital-enhancing websites that provide individuals with educational, financial, occupational or networking opportunities that help cultivate human, cultural, and social capital. Despite these prospective benefits, previous literature finds that women lag behind men in overall frequency and variety of capital-enhancing website use. This article extends the literature on capital-enhancing website use by testing two possible explanations for why the gender gap exists: 1) the unequal division of household labor, and 2) non-capital-enhancing website content geared towards men. The findings from an analysis of General Social Survey (GSS) data from 2000-2004 indicate that the gendered content of Internet websites may play a large role in determining women and men’s capital-enhancing website use. I conclude with a discussion of the implications for gender inequality in the digital age.
Date: 2009-11-24
Degree: MS
Discipline: Sociology
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/2823


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