Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Randall A. Rose


This thesis examines computer-mediated communication (CMC) and gender. Specifically, the examination focused on two newsgroups found online on the Internet in an effort to discover differences between females in a female-only discussion group and females in a female-minority discussion group. The study looked for differences primarily in regard to female-patterned message behavior. Seven different female­ patterned language categories were used in a content analysis of 100 messages from each group. Differences were examined overall, and according to each language category. In addition, the study sought to determine if message length differed between the two groups. Statistical analysis showed a significant difference between the two groups in terms of overall message behavior. However, the difference was in the opposite direction than expected: the female-minority group exhibited more female-patterned message behavior than the female-only group. When individual message characteristics were examined with statistical analysis, no significant differences were found. The difference in message length approached a significant difference, with the female-only group posting longer messages. Supplemental analysis added richness to the study, especially in the area of the individual message categories.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Communication and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 1998 Teresa A. Paulsen.