first meeting which brought together teachers, instructors, advanced
users and representatives of the N.I.T. industry to plan the research,
it became clear that the gender gap in access to and use of the
new technologies was generally unrecognised and hidden.
Although at one level the problem is evident, it is telling that
those recounting their own personal experience tended to shift
the terms of the problem. For example, some claimed that the problem
pertained to the older generation and was no longer an issue among
young users.Others suggested that the problem was confined to
beginners and disappeared with regular use. Or that the problem
is not specific to new information technologies and instead affects
women within the family, at work and in society at large. If there
is a gender gap in the use of N.I.T. its origins lie elsewhere
and can be tackled at other levels. The first objective of the
project was to verify and make visible the gender differences
with regard to new technologies by means of a sociological survey
based on a sample of male and female students and adults in Italy.
The survey data demonstrate the presence of a gap that
also affects young people in a number of ways.