NEW YORK – Diamonds are no longer a girl's best friend, according to a new U.S. study that found three of four women would prefer a new plasma TV to a diamond necklace.
The survey, commissioned by cable television's Oxygen Network, which is owned and operated by women, found the technology gender gap has virtually closed, with the majority of women snapping up new technology and using it easily.
Women were found on average to own 6.6 technology devices while men own 6.9, and four out of every five women felt comfortable using technology, with 46 percent doing their own computer trouble-shooting.
"People make the assumption that women are not as advanced as men when it comes to technology, and I was surprised at the parity men and women now have in terms of technology," Geraldine Laybourne, chairman and chief executive of Oxygen Network, told Reuters.
The Girls Gone Wired survey of 1,400 women and 700 men aged 15 to 49, which was conducted by market researcher TRU, found that given the choice, women would opt for tech items rather than luxury items like jewelry or vacations.
The study found 77 percent of women surveyed would prefer a new plasma television to a diamond solitaire necklace and 56 percent would opt for a new plasma TV over a weekend vacation in Florida.
Even shoes lost out. The study found 86 percent would prefer a new digital video camera to a pair of designer shoes.
The study found over the next five years women see themselves increasing their activities in six tech areas: digital cameras, cell phones, e-mail, camera phones, text messaging and instant messaging.
Laybourne said this increasing use of technology among women was expected to continue — with advertisers needing to ensure they addressed women's increased usage and knowledge.
"Women don't feel like they have been given credit for what they know and they are condescended to," Laybourne said.