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Wednesday, 11 December, 2002, 10:09 GMT
Sexism 'rife' in cyberspace
Man holding head in frustration
Two-thirds of those admitting to net rage were men
The battle between the sexes is being carried over to cyberspace, research shows.

A survey conducted by search engine AltaVista found that male chauvinism is alive and well on the internet, with 80% of men claiming to be better surfers than their female partners.

Men are also far more likely to be backseat drivers, interfering while their partners surf the web.

And just as road rage is often the preserve of the male of the species so too net rage seems more likely to happen to men.

Gender stereotypes

Battle of sexes online
80% of men claim to be better surfers than female partner
55% of women say they are better
Two-thirds suffering net rage are men
One in six surfers believe web is designed for men
Two-thirds of those that claimed to have lost patience online were male.

According to Open University Psychologist Dr Adam Joinson, the findings bear out traditional gender stereotypes.

"As information has become such a valuable commodity, it's not surprising that men have transferred their traditional hunter-gatherer role to hunting for information on the web," he said.

But in his opinion, men are unlikely to be better surfers than women.

"I'd be surprised if men's self-perceived superiority is grounded in fact," he said.

Frustrating times

In fact, women are overtaking men in many areas of net use such as e-mail and searching for health-related information.

They are also more likely to shop online than men, though male shoppers tend to be bigger spenders.

But for both sexes, finding what you want quickly on the net can be a tiresome experience.

"What these results show is that searching the internet is still sometimes a frustrating experience for both sexes.

"Finding the information you're looking for should be an everyday, easy occurrence, not a cause for a minor celebration," Dr Joinson said.

See also:

11 Nov 02 | Business
25 Jul 02 | Technology
09 May 02 | Science/Nature
21 Mar 02 | Science/Nature
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