internet usage – male/female skew

Being in the business of an internet startup in Mumbai, I’ve done my fair share of research on demographic and statistical information having anything and everything to do with the Internet in India (one thing you’ll learn fast is the believe nothing you read – I don’t care if it’s IAMAI or a PWC report!). One of the more staggering statistics I came accross was the male/female skew in Internet usage in Mumbai – 85/15! Yes, you heard me right – 85% male, 15% female (aren’t we leaving out the Eunuchs?). I find this very hard to believe, but even if we apply a fudge factor of +/- 10%, that’s still a 75%/25% split. I’m wondering if my Mumbai brethren have an inkling of an intelligent response as to why this might be so. From what I’ve seen accross town, there seems to be a very healthy group of young, working professional women; women who surely must have internet access from the workplace. So why the lopsided skew?

3 Comments so far

  1. Mitesh (unregistered) on October 5th, 2006 @ 7:45 am

    I can’t answer your question about the skew in the ratio, but maybe add to it, that even among Indian bloggers on blogspot, the stats are:
    Men: 80% Women: 13% Undeclared: 7%
    More about such stats here, in case you are interested:

  2. Neetij (unregistered) on October 5th, 2006 @ 11:30 am

    That’s quite a disparity. However, looking at just MBMumbai authors, the ratio appears close to their number.

    I can’t answer the question either, but I can offer a few more questions, whose answers should help you figure the value of the poll.

    What was the poll size? What is the participants’ background – age, workplace? Did they poll students? How do they define ‘internet usage’ – 2 hours, 1 hour, blog owners, gamers? Were all pollees (is that even a word?) from a single location?

    These are just a few common-sense questions I think one should ask for such polls. In fact, generalised versions of such questions can be used on any poll result to get a better idea of its’ accuracy and authenticity.

  3. nairsum (unregistered) on October 5th, 2006 @ 3:27 pm

    even if one assumes a constant on the factors listed by neetij, the ratio reflects the imp factor of the location of access – besided the no of ppl accessing net in thr wkplaces, thrs a huge chunk tht acceses it in the cybercafe – public space – most conducive to male access. comparable to access to any facility available in any public domain – frm pcos to public toilets!

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