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Telephone use has long had gendered connections ranging from the widespread assumption that women simply talk more than men, and the employment of women as telephone operators.In particular, young women have been closely associated with extensive and trivial use of the telephone for purely social purposes.Hargittai's groundbreaking 2007 study examining race, gender, and other differences between undergraduate college student users of SNSs found that women were not only more likely to have used SNSes than men but that they were also more likely to have used many different services, including Facebook, My Space, and Friendster; these differences persisted in several models and analyses.Although she only surveyed students at one institution – the University of Illinois at Chicago – Hargittai selected that institution intentionally as "an ideal location for studies of how different kinds of people use online sites and services." In contrast, data collected by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that men were more likely to have multiple SNS profiles.Women were also more likely to have expressions related to family relationships and romantic relationships.One of the key findings of this research is that those men who do have expressions of romantic relationships in their profile had expressions just as strong as the women.Pinterest alone attracts three times as many female users than male. Men are more likely to participate in online forums like Reddit, Digg or Slashdot.Although use of Pinterest by men has increased from 5% in 2012. One in five men claim to be a part of an online forum.
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Thus the idea that there may be both real and perceived differences in how men and women use SNSs – and that those uses may shape the SNSs – is neither new nor surprising and has historical analogues.
There is historical and contemporary evidence that current fears about young girls' online safety have historical antecedents such as telegraphs and telephones.
Technologies, including communications technologies, have a long history of shaping and being shaped by the gender of their users.
Although technologies used to perform housework have an apparent historical connection to gender in many cultures, a more ready connection to SNSs may be drawn with telephones as a communications technology readily and widely available in the home.