Gender digital divide: Does it exist and what are the explanations?

Richard Joiner, Caroline Stewart, Chelsey Beaney

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section

23 Citations (SciVal)


This chapter provides a summary of the gender digital divide. Atwell (2001) makes a useful distinction between primary and secondary digital divides. The primary digital divide concerns differences in accessing the Internet, whereas the secondary digital divide concerns differences in Internet use. The chapter focuses on gender differences in types of usage and thus on the secondary gender digital divide. It reports a series of studies that the authors conducted over the last 10 years which have examined gender differences in the use of the Internet. The chapter suggests that the secondary digital divide is best explained by a combination of negative gendered stereotypes concerning technology and social expectations based on individuals' gender roles. Thus, gender differences in the use of the Internet are more a reflection of gender differences in wider society and thus more resistant to change than some people have suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Wiley Handbook of Psychology, Technology, and Society
EditorsL. D. Rosen, N. A. Cheever, L. M Carrier
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781118771952
ISBN (Print)9781118772027
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2015


  • Gender differences
  • Internet access
  • Negative gendered stereotypes
  • Primary gender digital divide
  • Secondary gender digital divide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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