July 1996

Root Page of Article: The Wired World According to Women, by Leslie Regan Shade

Gendered Communication Online

Are there gendered differences in the ways that men and women communicate online? Certainly much of the research to date would indicate that this is the case. For instance,linguist Susan Herring argues that men and women have distinctively different styles of communicating on the Internet flaming is one such example. In this collection, both 'yduJ', aka Judy Anderson (in "Not for the Faint of Heart: Contemplations on Usenet") and Laurel Sutton (in "Cocktails and Thumbtacks in the Old West: What Would Emily Post Say?") discuss some of these social conventions surrounding Usenet, from posting netiquette to flaming. Sutton admonishes women to forget about the male- infested flamewar zeitgeist of Usnet and get online anyway: "The future is going to be online, and there has never been a better chance for women. Go girl! Get to to that cocktail party, and make sure they know you have arrived!" (p. 185).

In "'So Please Stop, Thank You': Girls Online", Michele Evard describes her work with NewsMaker (a software system tested on schoolage children so that they could read, write, and modify articles). She notes that "it is possible to have online discussion groups that are balanced along such lines as gender, race, and academic ability and that the online world is not inherently a hostile one" (p. 203). --

Contents Archive Sponsors Studies Contact