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Web Sites Have Sex Appeal

Men and women are very different in what catches their eye on the Internet, which means a Web site can appeal to one while unintentionally turning off the other.

Men and women are very different in what catches their eye on the Internet, which means a website can appeal to one while unintentionally turning off the other, a university study showed.

A study at the University of Glamorgan in the United Kingdom found that the sexes reacted very differently to sites when surfing the web.

Males, for example, favored the use of straight lines, as opposed to rounded forms, few colors in the typeface and background, and formal typography. As for language, they favored the use of formal or expert language with few abbreviations. Women were nearly the opposite.

The study also found that men and women preferred web sites designed by their own sex.

"The statistics are complicated, but there is no doubt about the strength of men and women's preference for sites produced by people of their own sex," statistician and co-researcher Rod Gunn said in a statement released Monday.

Nevertheless, a look at the web sites of 32 higher education institutions found 94 percent displaying a masculine orientation and just 2 percent a female bias, the study said. This was the case, even though all the schools' target audience was almost equally balanced between the sexes.

Research also found that a man or a predominantly male team built nearly 3 in 4 of the sites, while a woman or a female team designed just 7 percent of them.

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