"Cyberjealousy" Afflicts Italian Women

ROME (06/01/2000) - A significant number of husbands who surf the Web in Italy are making their wives jealous, according to a published survey.

A survey of married women in Italy whose husbands have access to the Internet found that half of the respondents suffer acute bouts of "cyberjealousy" when they see their husbands glued to the PC screen for hours on end, the survey found. Moreover, 25 percent are even prepared to invite their mother-in-law for dinner every evening in order to stop their partners excessive Web surfing, according to the survey.

The greatest fear among 40 percent of the wives surveyed is that their husband will meet a woman who is more intelligent than them at a chat room, the survey, published by the Italian monthly "Internet Pratico" (Practical Internet), found. Another worry, affecting 10 percent of the 352 married women surveyed, is that their husband may actually be chatting to a former girlfriend.

Possible countermeasures include marathon telephone conversations with one's closest friends to keep the phone line busy, practiced by 35 percent of the women interviewed, or sabotaging the offending PC, a last resort for 23 percent of exasperated wives.

Sixty-four percent of the women said they were troubled by the excessive time spent on the Web by their partner and only 9 percent claimed to be indifferent to the problem. One in three of the women were even prepared to do without a telephone altogether if that was the only way of keeping their husbands from going online, the magazine's survey found.

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