Technology Divide

Fot the full story, visit the News.BBC.co.uk website 07/11/09

Men and women have different approaches to dealing with technology problems, according to a recent survey by a national support helpline provider.

64% of its male callers and 24% of its female callers had not read the instruction manual before ringing up.

12% of male and 7% of female customers simply needed to plug in or turn on their appliance.

Women spent 32% longer on the phone to their helpers than men - but 66% of the helpline staff preferred speaking to them, the survey found.

"There is evidence of a gender divide in technology" Joanna Bawa, chartered psychologist and editor of the Usability News website, told the BBC.  "In general terms men treat technology as something to be understood and conquered while women are more motivated by appliances that benefit them", she added.

Generally speaking, in a production run, 5% of appliances will contain a manufacturing fault, but 15% - 20% get taken back to the shop for return even though 17% of women and 9% of men had nothing discernibly wrong with their appliances.

Technical Support