The present study examined whether traditional gender role expectations (Eagly, 1987) influence behaviors in non-traditional contexts such as online virtual environments. Participants were 352 Second Life users who reported their activities and experiences in Second Life. Results indicated that men and women differed in the types of activities they engaged in a manner predicted by social role theory. Specifically, as compared to women, men were more likely to report building things (e.g. objects), to own and work on their own virtual property, and were less likely to change their avatar's appearance. Women, as compared to men, were more likely to meet people, shop, regularly change their avatar's appearance, and buy clothes/objects for their avatar. The present study adds to our understanding of how traditional gender role expectations may carry over to online virtual worlds and influence online behavior.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Human-Computer Interaction