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        Another Issue – Gender-based Access

        In the survey results cited by Browning, there was another interesting finding: that only one-third of the users were women. This reveals a certain degree of gender bias in the distribution of users in e-space, and is a problem associated with acces that affects women. It is not so obvious, though, and is not necessarily to do with economic or intellectual barriers, but more to do with psychological ‘obstacles’. It is known that the computing culture is predominantly male. Turkle (1998) asserts that women have a certain reticence towards technical systems and computers, while Winter and Huff (1996) claim that the Internet (in particular the chatrooms and forums) can be a little intimidating for women. There are some cases of sexual harrasment, for example, and sometimes, women are seen as ‘unwelcome’ in discussions. In many sites that feature advertising banners, it is apparent that the target audience is mostly male too. There are some covert (and overt) politics of gender-biasedness, and the general atmosphere of e-space seems to be male-oriented. Women thus seem to be facing some ‘barriers’ to accessing and enjoying e-space as much as they would like to.

What has been done about the problems?
Previous Page

Introduction/ What is meant by 'access'?
     Global Scale - Across Countries

Within Countries     Another Issue - Gender-based Access

 What has been done about the problems?      Conclusion