Genders differ, so?

Sometimes I see research from supposedly the smartest of firms around, that form interpretations that are so simplistic, I feel they misguide more than help facilitate decisions. Take for example the recent study by eMarketer on differences across genders when it comes to online behaviour.

The study tells companies that 'they should be aware that not all Internet tendencies mirror offline generalizations.' Now whats that supposed to mean? The study says that stereotypes that we have about genders in the offline world should not be transplanted online. Surely we didn't need a survey to figure that out.

Anyway, lets look at the stereotypes that don't apply.

'For example, women are often dubbed the more verbally adept sex. However they are no more likely to use online communication tools like e-mail, blogging, or social networks than men are.'

Now who in world thinks that verbal exchanges are similar to written ones? Of course they are different. You didn't a survey to tell you that women who talk aren't necessarily the ones who blog, e-mail or are on social networks. What the survey should have tried to see is whether a lady into 'writing offline' has taken to 'writing online'. And has that lady taken the pains to understand and get adept at technology so she can continue to do what she did offline, online?

'And although women are sometimes pegged as more avid shoppers, men are just as keen as women to make online purchases. But their shopping behavior may differ. "Men generally have the attitude, I'm going to go there, I've got to get it and get out," says Phillips. "Females like to go online and socialize and shop around - much like going into a store." Furthermore, Phillips says fathers are just as voracious as mothers about finding online information to improve their children's health or education. Like Web-savvy moms, they also tend to buy products with their families in mind.'

Does that mean men have changed, online? The answer, I'm sure isn't an easy one.

Do I dislike shopping? I do. Do I take that dislike online and therefore not take time to browse products listed on online stores? The answer is No! Why? Because when I face a computer screen, and the only part of my body that needs to move is my wrist, my shopping world's a totally different one. Have I 'changed' therefore? Big chance! About 'fathers being just as voracious as mothers about finding online information to improve their children's health or education', is it a dichotomy that we face when we compare the desire for information offline with that exhibited online? I don't think so. Take 'us' for example. We just picked a school to put our son into. Now, me, I cared as much offline about this choice as I did online. That is, I visited the schools myself, and also checked information on them, online.

What I am trying to say is that fundamentally men or women don't 'change' when they go about their 'offline lives' vis-a-vis the lives they live in the online world. Yes, they do different things in either of these worlds. Not because they 'change', but because what they can't afford to do in a certain offline world, can be done, online. And vice-versa. Between them, of course, they differ. I mean, gender behaviour is different. Offline; Online too.

Men with a 'nurturing nature' care. Doesn't matter if they are online or offline. Men who exhibit loutish behaviour in the real world, I bet, are jerks online.


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