WOMEN are more attracted to social networking websites than men, who prefer gaming and gambling sites, according to a new study by psychologists at the University of Bath.
The research, which looked at the differences between what the genders enjoyed doing online, discovered that men are more likely to visit entertainment, betting, games and music websites.
However, women are more attracted to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. They are also more likely to make travel reservations online too.
The exercise, which charted the web activities of nearly 500 first year undergraduate students from six universities, was a repeat of an original study 10 years ago.
Interestingly since the advent of highly popular social networks like Facebook, the University’s Department of Psychology found there is a widening gap between the way men and women use the internet and more distinct differences.
Dr Richard Joiner, lead author of the paper Gender, Internet Experience Internet Identification and Internet Anxiety: A ten year follow up said: “Our findings indicate that rather than transcending or overcoming gender differences in wider society, internet use by males and females seems to reflect, and in some instances even exacerbate, these broader trends.
“In previous research we found no gender differences in the use of the internet for communication, whereas in the current study we found gender differences in communication and that females were using social network sites more than males.”
The research also found that the average age students started using the internet was 11 years old and they spend approximately three hours a day online.
Dr Joiner added: “Gender differences in the use of the internet are more a reflection of gender differences in wider society. It is important to continue to investigate these differences because of the importance of the Internet in virtually every aspect of our lives and the erroneous assumption that all young people have similar and high level of technology ability and experience.”