Gender differences in IT adoption and gestural communication

Science behind stereotypes & implications on Human Computer Interaction

Manolya Kavakli*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper reviews gender differences in gestural communication and perception of Information Technology (IT) and investigates gender differences in basic hand gestures for the design of user-centric and gender-adaptive systems. If males and females associate themselves differently with technology, being masculine and feminine, then this would have a strong impact on their adoption of IT and would require the development of gender-adaptive gesturerecognition systems, devices and applications. In this paper, we present empirical studies to demonstrate gender differences in the perception of technology as well as gestural communication. We have conducted a survey with 20 male and 20 female participants and found differences in the perception of the gender of technology. Our association with IT may be driven by the way we identify ourselves with the gender of technology. If there are differences in the way we process information and males and females use different system architectures, then the development of gender-adaptive systems would increase the acceptance of technology. We have also analysed natural hand gestures to identify what type of gestures are used in gestural communication, using video analysis and annotation. We have conducted an experiment involving 10 male and 10 female Australian adults. We have asked the participants to describe an object using hand gestures and speech. We have found gender differences in the perception of IT, as well as types, frequency and occurrences of hand gestures. Drawing conclusions from these comparisons, we discuss the potential effects of gender differences in the design of multimodal interfaces as well as the necessity of developing gender-adaptive systems in Human Computer Interaction (HCI).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-74
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal on Advances in Life Sciences
Volume7
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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