Housewives make way for mousewives

Housewife have become a 'mousewife' with increasing use of computers in the home, says a study

india Updated: Sep 27, 2005 20:29 IST

Gone are the days when a housewife's role only entitled looking after humdrum household chores or feeding the kids, the traditional housewife has now transformed into a 'mousewife' with increasing use of computers in the home, according to a new study

The research, carried out by Demos, and based on a six-month anthropological study of five families combined with nation wide polling, reveals how the mother's domestic role has evolved in relation to the internet.

It shows that half of all women who go online have moved the home PC into the living room so it can play a central role in family life.

Two-thirds of women now research their families' health online, it says, while one third have replaced 'Watch with Mother' with 'Surf with Mother' as they accompany their children online to do homework or play.

Women with a computer in the household also turn out to be 'all-hours' users, with half logging on before breakfast and a fifth getting up in the middle of the night to access the internet.

The main reasons cited are that the PC is becoming the social hub for gossip with family and friends as well as a means of bargain hunting, without leaving the living room.

Punishment has also changed, the research has found. Removing internet privileges for children is becoming commonplace as e-grounding replaces more traditional chastisements for bad behaviour.

Demos, which carried out the study for online broadband provider AOL UK, says says women are taking to the internet now far faster than men.

First Published: Sep 27, 2005 20:29 IST