Present-day media's emphasis on equal treatment and political correctness hasn't prevented pundits and pollsters from pointing up certain differences between men and women. These show up in electoral preferences (more women favor Democrats) and may be even more pronounced in computer usage. Typical was a nationwide 1995 American Banker survey done with the Gallup Organization. While the 44% of financial-consumer households with personal computers were about evenly divided between male and female respondents, men were more likely to have subscribed to an on-line service (28% versus 18% of women), to have used the Internet (40% to 28%), or to be interested in on-line banking (63% to 43%). PC Meter, an on-line market research subsidiary of NPD Group in Port Washington, N.Y., said the World Wide Web is growing in popularity among women, though as of April men still outnumbered them there by 61% to 39%. The genders had somewhat different tastes in Web sites: Netscape was No. 1 among men, No. 3 among women; America Online, No. 1 among women and No. 2 among men; Microsoft, No. 13 among men and No. 24 among women. As a sign the gap may be closing, Bellcore, in its on-line "technography" (see item at left), gave "home-centered women" a category of their own. They are 12% of households above $25,000 in income, "an untapped resource for educational and cultural services," Bellcore said. Six of 10 have computers, but few are yet on-line; they respond more to in-home educational opportunities than to shopping.

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