In general, men are stereotyped as gadget hounds, well, a global study from BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, shows that information technology actually brings more happiness to women worldwide, and said access to information technology has a ‘statistically significant, positive impact on life satisfaction’.
A new study (PDF) from UK-based BCS that based on data collected from more than 35,000 survey respondents across the globe found that IT actually makes people happier.
The research suggests that, on average, people around the world think that information technology (i.e. Internet access) increases their sense of freedom by 15% and improves their overall well-being. Altogether, our life satisfaction increases by 10% when we have IT access, the study concludes.
Even when controlling for income (which is correlated with happiness), the study found that access to IT made people around the world happier. The authors suggest that computers, cell phones, and the like do tremendous things for one’s “sense of freedom” and control over life, which in turn promotes feelings of life satisfaction.
The effect can be seen most strongly with women, who benefit more than men from IT. “One possible reason is the role played by IT in modern day communications,” says the study. “Therefore, we wonder whether the finding reflects the social networking role of women around the world. This result is particularly true for women in developing nations. Why this is so is not clear. But one reason might be that in many parts of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East women have socially controlled roles which may lead to a lower sense of freedom and autonomy and hence well-being.”
In the other words, women are gain more benefit most from IT access than men, individuals in lower income households and those with less education. The institute argues that this is because “IT helps to promote and enable empowerment and autonomy.” For women specifically it serves as an important “social and family network support tool.”
You can read more about BCS’s findings in the full report by download it here.