Gender differences in traditional media and Social Network use




Traditional media, Social Networks (SN), Facebook (FB), Gender differences


The objective of this research is to highlight potential gender differences in relation to the use of traditional and digital media, with a specific focus on the motivations behind the use of Social Networks (SN), in particular Facebook (FB). We administered an online survey to a sample of 189 students aimed at monitoring a) time and frequency of exposure to traditional media and SN; b) the use respondents make of FB; c) the reasons why they use FB. In order to provide an integrated view of the exposure pattern to the traditional media and to SN, we have adopted a cluster analysis and discriminant analysis, identifying three groups of users: the connected, the traditional and the detached. The subsequent analysis demonstrated significant gender differences: a) women read a higher number of books than men, they watch more TV and they spend more time on social media; b) women claim to have a greater number of friends on FB and spend on average more time than men on FB; c) women get higher scores than men on motivation like curiosity for browsing or to search for people who they have not seen for some time. In contrast, men get higher scores in motivations like flirting. Our results are in line with the findings of previous studies, showing how women use FB for a plethora of activities, with a higher orientation to maintain and create a larger number of interpersonal relationships.