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Women have less faith in their computer skills than men, according to a survey of undergraduates in the US.

Men are more likely to rate their computer expertise as "above average" than women, despite near identical experience and frequency of use. The researchers also noted that women were much less likely to spend time in chat rooms or playing video games.

It is perhaps worth noting that young men are not known for their false modesty. These will be the same young men who will happily claim to have slept with 50 lovely ladies while Lara Croft is the closest thing to a scantily-clad-woman they would have seen.

The study, of students at the University of California at Los Angeles, found that although 77.8 per cent of female freshmen and 79.5 per cent of male freshmen reported "regular use" of computers, men ranked their ability as "above average" twice as often as women did.

This gap between the sexes is the largest reported since the researchers started asking questions about computer use, back in 1985.

UCLA professor Linda Sax, who directed the survey, said that this lack of confidence would put women at a disadvantage in the workplace as we rely on computers more and more. ®

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