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“It’s a man’s world” . . . or so the saying goes. Maybe it was, but it’s doesn’t seem so anymore. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, it’s estimated that men will soon be in the minority. Specifically, between 2008 and 2013, males will account for just 49 percent of the nation’s population!

Okay. But, men are certainly the majority of online users, right? Wrong! According to a report in the April 14 edition of “eMarketer Daily Newsletter,” men are not in the majority online, either. It is estimated that there are 95.9 million males online in 2009 representing 48.2 percent of the internet population. That compares with an estimated 103.2 million females online.

The general population, along with the Internet population, in America will continue to grow, of course. But, by 2013 males will make up just 47.9 percent of the online population, and at 105.9 million users will still be the minority. The report goes on the say that such numbers are important because gender, even more than race or ethnicity, is a distinguishing factor of Internet use regarding behavior and attitudes.

For example, while fewer men go online than women, “men spend more time online conducting more searches on a daily basis,” says Lisa E. Phillips, senior analyst at eMarketer and author of the report, “Men Online.” Moreover, she reports that men do not mind seeing online ads. “They are also as engaged in social media as women are, and most are not put off by the companies and brands they find there,” she adds.

When it comes to who is going online more often and staying online longer, it is the men who rule. A Nielsen Online study last November recorded an average of 60 PC sessions per male Internet user compared with an average of 54 sessions for female users. Moreover, men spent an average of 4.4 hours more online than did women.

In a Gallup poll, 53 percent of men were found to spend more than one hour per day on the Internet, compared with just 42 percent of women. By contrast, more women reported being online for one hour or less per day. Fewer men also said they had “never” been online—15 percent of males compared with 20 percent of females.

It’s clear from studies like these that gender does affect who is online. It also highlights the need for dealers to recognize that their Web sites should have good content and appeal to both men and women. For some great content offered free for dealers go to www.growboating.org and check out the new “Discover Boating Toolkit.”

Speaking statistically, at least, it could just be that the majority of visitors to your Web site are women.

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