Men Are From Mars, Women Shop Online

The Internet: last great barrier between the sexes

May 18, 2006

2 Min Read
Network Computing logo

5:45 PM -- So, it's official: Women are more honest and reliable than men, at least where office Internet usage is concerned.

This week, security software vendor Websense Inc. (Nasdaq: WBSN) unveiled its seventh annual Web@Work survey, which shows the genders really are from different Web surfing planets. (See WebSense Eyes Surfing at Work.)

Consider the findings: Women are twice as likely as men to call the help desk if their computer is infected with spyware. (Men, presumably, crack open a beer, put their feet up on their desks, and simply stare vacantly into their screens for an entire afternoon.)

Men, it would appear, are also much happier to fritter away precious hours of work time "playing" on the Internet. The male of the species, according to Websense, spends an average of 2.3 hours of the work week on non-work related Websites, whereas the fairer sex typically spends just 1.5 hours visiting the likes of shopping and travel sites.

For men, however, the major online draws are (surprise, surprise) sports, weather, and investment sites, not to mention blogs. (Surely, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood gets more pulses racing than Victoria's Secret.)Men (believe it or not) are nonetheless much more likely to view online porn at work, with 16 percent saying that they had visited a dubious site, compared to only 8 percent of women.

Sixteen percent! In a male-heavy sector such as IT, that's almost one in five employees. One wonders how any work gets done at all.

On the other hand, it could be that men are simply more likely than women to admit their Internet peccadilloes and idle Web browsing -- or else they're too stupid to hide it, depending on how you look at it. What do you think?

James Rogers, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

Stay informed! Sign up to get expert advice and insight delivered direct to your inbox

You May Also Like

More Insights