Gendered Space: The Digital Divide between Male and Female Users in Internet Public Access Sites

Laura J. Dixon, Teresa Correa, Joseph Straubhaar, Laura Covarrubias, Dean Graber, Jeremiah Spence, Viviana Rojas
  • Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, May 2014, Oxford University Press (OUP)
  • DOI: 10.1111/jcc4.12088

The digital divide at public library internet access points

What is it about?

We counted who used the internet at public libraries in Austin, Texas. We found that more men than women used them. Interviews showed that most people would rather not be using public libraries to access the internet, but they lacked private (in-home) options. Women and men thought of libraries very differently, with women showing more nostalgia about books and family outings and men showing more emphasis on technology.

Why is it important?

This article is important because it shows some nuances of the digital divide among people who don't have many other options for accessing the internet than public libraries. The interviews suggest the differences in thinking between men and women and suggest ways that public access spaces can be made more appealing to women.


Laura Dixon (Author)
University of Texas at Austin

This article was based on quantitative and qualitative data that had been collected over a long time period, shedding light on why the digital divide persists in public access spaces.

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The following have contributed to this page: Laura Dixon